Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gbagbo and the Ivorian Test: Moving beyond Anti-imperialist Rhetoric

Our task is to lay out some of the democratic questions in the current struggles in the Cote d'Ivoire. The post-election stalemate in Côte d’Ivoire once again sharpens the demand by African peoples for democratic African societies devoid of leaders who have turned tools of anti-imperialism into tools for the oppression of their own people. From Zimbabwe to Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Ivory Coast, the peoples of Africa have grown impatient with leaders who were anti-imperialist heroes but once they entrenched themselves in power, they did not only become allies of the imperialists they had fought against, they become obstacles to the aspirations of their peoples, who yearn for freedom of movement, freedom of religious expression, gender equality, citizenship, peace, and human dignity. We advocate for a paradigm in which the aspirations and will of the people supersede the selfish interests of leaders and their imperialist accomplices; a paradigm in which neither the likes of Laurent Gbagbo nor Alassane Outtara would have the free rein to betray the mandate and aspirations of the people. This paradigm cannot be guaranteed by the manipulation of anti-imperialist sentiment against the democratic aspirations of citizens as we are currently witnessing in Cote d’Ivoire.
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