Feb. 27th, 2011

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CôTE D'IVOIR. (guys? how do I get that punctuation mark on the "o" in Côte d'Ivoire?)

Côte d'Ivoire: The Difficult Legacy of Houphouët-Boigny

In order to better understand the origins of the current political crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, it is necessary to place recent events within the context of the post-colonial era.

Post-Colonial Politics

Félix Houphouët-Boigny was the first president of Côte d'Ivoire from its independence in 1960 to his death in 1993. Henri Konan Bédié, president of the national assembly succeeded the deceased president in accordance with the Ivorian constitution. In 1995, Henri Konan Bédié remained in power, having been elected with 96.44% of the vote.

Politician Laurent Koudou Gbagbo called a boycott of this presidential election due to reforms that had been implemented to the electoral code. He was elected as a member of parliament in his constituency after his party, the FPI (Ivorian Popular Front), won five of the eight seats in the elections.

General Robert Guéï overthrew President Bédié on December 24, 1999, after the latter attempted to change the constitution in his favor.

Presidential elections were then held in 2000 and Guéï was beaten by Laurent Koudou Gbagbo. The elections were marred however, by the elimination of several candidates by the Supreme Court including former president Bédié and politican Alassane Ouattarabecause of ”dubious nationality”, forgery and use of a false identity. During Ouattara's prime ministerial rule under President Houphouët-Boigny, Gbagbo was imprisoned as a political opponent in1992 and sentenced to two years in jail, although he was released after seven months.

The result of the contest was strongly contested by Guéï and some clashes marred this period; he eventually recognized the legitimacy of Gbagbo, thus winning FPI a majority of 91 seats in parliament (against 70 and 16 to the opposition).

While Gbagbo was abroad in September 2002, soldiers made an attempt to overthrow him. During the coup, several assassination attempts took place against political figures including Alassane Ouattara, and several difficult years in Ivorian politics ensued.

Bitter Context for 2010 Elections

It is within this context that elections were organized by the international community in December 2010.

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Good news.

Feb. 27th, 2011 05:16 pm
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Cameroon: Inventors, Makers and Creators

A post on AfriGadget blog brought to our attention the work of few Cameroonian craftsmen and makers through videos taken by Bill Zimmerman of 27 months, a blog documenting “Cameroon from a technologist's point of view”.MORE


LATE as heck I know, but interesting, yes?Christmas recipes in Global Food Blog


Christmas means ‘coming home’ to many people - but when that isn’t possible, preparing a magic meal can be a consolation. Bloggers of many continents have shared their favorite holiday recipes. With these you can dream yourself back home or even visit a place you’ve never been to before. Where are you celebrating Christmas this year, and what are you serving?

Local specialties and secret family recipes for Christmas food are exactly what you need to create just the right feeling - whether it’s Brazilian breakfast rabanada, American sour creme coffee cake or Bulgarian pastry, banitsa.

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Video: Sports of the World and Games People Play


More than two years ago we wrote about national sports. Today we revisit the topic to learn more about the sports and games that people play in different parts of the world.MORE


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Tunisia PM announces resignation.

Mohammed Ghannouchi, Tunisia's interim prime minister, has resigned, as security forces clashed with protesters in Tunis, the capital, who were demanding some of his minsters be removed.

Hours later it was announced that Beji Caid Essebsi, a former minister, would take over the premiership. Essebsi was foreign minister under Habib Bourguiba, Tunisia's president after independence,

Ghannouchi made the announcement on state television on Sunday, saying that he had thought carefully before taking the decision and that he had the support of his family.

"I am not running away from responsibility ... This is to open the way for a new prime minister," he said. "I am not ready to be the person who takes decisions that would end up causing casualties."

Ghannouchi has led the country since Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia's former president, fled Tunisia on January 14, following a popular uprising.

But Ghannouchi was a longtime ally of Ben Ali and, though he pledged elections to be held by mid-July, protesters have called for him to step aside.

On Friday tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets demanding the prime minster's resignation.

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