A conversation with Alassane Ouattara

Alassane Ouattara and Ernest Bai Koroma granted the Council Of Foreign relations an interesting conversation about post-conflict societies, external military intervention, reconciliation and national integration.

The fate of the pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara soldiers who violated human rights was of course discussed, but Ouattara did not give any indication about what his policy will be towards them. They just mentioned the challenge was to find the right balance between reconciliation, justice and equity.

They also discussed foreign intervention: France in Cote d’Ivoire and United Kingdom in Sierra Leone, as well as the role of the international organizations in the conflicts. That was the occasion for Ouattara to deplore the the fact that the African Union did not have the means to act militarily even though an international consensus was reached against Gbagbo.

So in my personal view, it’s clear that domestic problems should be taken care of by domestic forces.  But when there is imbalance — and this was the case in Cote d’Ivoire [there should be an external help].  At some point Gbagbo was using heavy weapons and killing citizens, of the population — up to 3,000 people were killed.  He had all type of sophisticated weapons imported from countries I would not name, but now we know them.  And this was a — dramatic.

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