Charles Stith is the Director of the African Presidential Archives & Research Center at Boston University and a former US ambassador to Tanzania. He offers the following comment on the capture by French forces of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo.
“That Gbagbo’s end has finally come is good for the Ivory Coastl, good for the region, and good for the continent.
“Gbagbo proved an axiom that I’ve coined: ‘Power is a seductive mistress, who once kissed is hard to walk away from.’ But, as is the case with all illicit affairs, the end is more often than not tragic.
“Had Gbagbo not been consumed by his lust for power, maybe he would’ve heeded the numerous overtures for a peaceful transition — and the healing his country so desperately needs could have begun months ago, without even more injury heaped upon it.
“This is the tragedy. The triumph is that with Gbagbo’s removal it seems Africa’s arc for the future bends toward democracy.”
Contact Charles Stith, 617-353-5452, firstname.lastname@example.org