Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Ivory Coast

As I mentioned in the comments to the post below I have not seen any coverage of the recent violence next door on Ghanaian television. I have also not heard it brought up much as a topic of conversation here at the university. This is kind of surprising because the violence in Mexico is a topic of discussion in the US and is covered extensively in the news. If there were violence similar to that in Ivory Coast in Canada I think it would also be a concern for the US. But, I have seen very little evidence of much interest or concern in Ghana over the recent events in the Ivory Coast. I think maybe it is because I am on a university campus and people here are preoccupied with things other than international events.

2 comments:

Stanley said...

Well, I can fully understand that Ghanaians should attend to their own problems before worrying about events in neighboring states. However, it seems that Ghana's attitude is rather myopic since there is an ethnic component to the IC violence and people wising to escape are likely to emigrate to the Land of Opportunity, Ghana in this case.
Here's what CNN said in a March 2 report: People have been burned alive or gunned down in public because they are supporters of Ouattara, Mallet said. In November, both incumbent Gbagbo and challenger Ouattara claimed victory in the presidential election run-off. An independent electoral commission declared Ouattara the winner, but Gbagbo has refused to step aside.

Mallet said other rights abuses include using heavy artillery and rocket-launched grenades against protesters, the destruction of mosques, denial of medical care for Ouattara loyalists and the use of rape and sexual assault as a tactic. Gbagbo is also tracking down Ouattara backers on social networks and chat rooms, Mallet said.

J. Otto Pohl said...

Stanley:

I agree the lack of concern in Ghana (or at least at the university in Legon) is rather disconcerting given the geographical proximity of IC. I also have no doubt that what is happening next door is quite horrible. I am not exactly sure why there seems to be so little concern here. You are right that it is a potential source of refugees and other cross-border problems.

That said I should probably restate that just because I have not seen it covered on Ghanaian news or heard it talked about does not necessarily mean that nobody is concerned. It just seems to me that something this serious would be something that received a lot more attention. For instance the few newspaper articles I have seen have been on the inside of the paper. The front page of the last one I saw had a story on glacoma.