Arise monsieur Ouattara! The forced departure of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, with the help of French and United Nations troops, has once again raised the debate on the role of outside forces, particularly those with a colonial past, in Africa's political landscape. So, is foreign intervention in Cote d'Ivoire good or bad? Here is a sample of the reactions to Gbagbo's humiliating fall.

Position::Cote d'Ivoire - Alassane Ouattara


representative of the UN secretary general in Cote d'Ivoire


Gbagbo made mistake after mistake and in the end he lost everything ... He concentrated his forces in two spots and we found 800 soldiers in the residence area, all heavily armed. The fundamental feeling is that he failed to win the hearts and minds of the population here. He underestimated the will of the people, and the credit must go to the Ivorian people.


President of Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council

The United Nations resolution on Cote d'Ivoire speaks of the use of United Nations forces, but not in order to support one of the sides in the conflict. The United Nations cannot take sides, but that is de-facto what happened. We have serious questions for the United Nations leadership. I think this is a very dangerous tendency.


Laurent Gbagbo could have gone out in a Versace suit, all dapper and with the assurance of a delicious croissant every morning, and lounged lazily in a villa in any country of his choice. Instead, he chose the path of indignity and humiliation--a former president trapped in a hole like a rat, sweating like he had run a marathon, wiping sweat from his armpit. That sight was both annoying and sad.


Watching Gbagbo wipe his armpit on international TV made me feel very sorry for him even though I know he doesn't deserve my pity. Not that it would take him anywhere but I am angry that through his obstinate folly, Gbagbo managed to get me to feel sorry for him.

I don't feel sorry for leaders who bring their country to ruin just so they can stay in power for longer, they do not deserve pity. Even though Gbagbo has proved to me that he's one of the worst African fools of the new millennium, I feel sorry for him and all the opportunities he missed to walk away a dignified man, if not a hero. I believe that a man should be able to stand by his convictions and defend them. But it gets to a point where the tide turns and comes at you like a tsunami. That's when you walk away. That's the lesson I hope others get from Gbagbo's fall.

Most of the world saw that this was not going to end well--not for Gbagbo, not for Cote d'Ivoire. Only Gbagbo and the sycophants around him didn't see that the end was going to be this bad. Now look at him, with the forlorn expression on his battered face and wiping sweat from his armpit. Humiliated and shamed.

Gbagbo should be feeling lucky that he's alive but he's going to regret the rest of his days because now, having missed the opportunity to live in luxury in exile, there is the very real prospect that he could...

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