Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More Ivory Coast

In my previous post on this subject I wrote that even if negotiations are unsuccesful to get Gbagbo to admit defeat in the recent presidential elections so Outtara can become president, the United Nations, along with the African Union and ECOWAS, will be showing that there are costs to violence against political opponents and the rule of law by "not really being able to do business and run a country before going through negotiations." This is true, but there are other things that the international community can and does do. At least it can continue to provide some protection for political opponents who are at risk of violence from the government. It can monitor if elections are fair or not, although it probably is bad for international organizations to say that a certain side won an election. There may be an invasion to stop this dictatorship, but that is almost certainly not worth it. There may be sanctions. In the short-run, this may mean higher prices for chocolate because Ivory Coast is the world's largest producer of cocoa beans, but in the long-run it may mean a better understanding by African politicians of their responsibilities, which will mean a more peaceful and prosperous Africa, which will mean more agricultural production and less hunger.

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