It is quite interesting that Alassane Ouattara declared winner in the November 2010 election had to wait close to five months before assuming the reigns of power in Ivory Coast.This article will not labour on how he got into power but will analyse the greatest tasks that lie ahead of him from which his leadership will be judged.
Like what happened in Libya,the United Nations Secretary Genaral,Ban Ki Moon passed a resolution that gave the combined international force the authority to attack Gbagbo's military arsenals if they were being used on civilians or the UN personnel.Determining whether or not the weapons were used on the specified sections of people lay entirely in the hands of the combined forces and so was the interpretation of the resolution.Any that is not the scope of this paper.
Now,Outtara the internationally recognised Ivorian President, came to power by the gun and with the massive support of foreign forces.The man was already perceived by some as a foreign candidate,viewed as a stranger.His background as an economist within the International Monetary Fund (IMF) puts him closer to the west and butresses the reason behind the military support he received.
Ouattara will find the going difficult in forging a union or propose national reconciliation to the two opposing camps,one led by himself and the other led by Gbagbo.Antoine Glaser,former editor of the French magazine described Ouattara predicament as,"catastrophic".His ability to reconstruct an Ivory Coast that is politically and economically stable will depend in part on how he will handle the issue of his predecessor.
Meanwhile,the International Criminal Court is poised to investgate Gbagbo over the alleged war crimes committed during the conflict-accused of his silence while his charges were raping innocent civilians, massacres and the deliberate targeting of civilians during the post-election stand off in which at least 400 people were killed.It would naive to suggest that Ouattara's forces did not commit similar offences and therefore much will depend on how he will deal with that issue without running the risk of rekindling the conflict.
Robert Besseling of the Executive Analysis has warned:"Pro-Gbagbo camp is an established collection of militias united by ethnic,geographic or religious affaliation.There are segments of the military that are still loyal in Abidjan.The re-intergration of former forces loyal to Gbagbo and Ouattara's will be another mammoth task that awaits the Economist leader.Mishandling the case can mean military constipation and an early exit creating another power vacuum that will throw the west African nation into turmoil.
It is befitting for Gbagbo to appear before international courts so that incumbent governments trodding in similar paths will think twice before acting.This should be one case where African leadership will concur that one of their own has behaved in ways that deserve sanctioning by international courts.The consequences of domestic courts handling the case are quite obvious and therefore shall not find relevance in the circumstances.
The continent of African is loudly calling for rational leaders,able to articulate policies that promote good governance and respect for democratic values while exercising tolerance and pragmatism.Africa deserves better leadership,the era for dictatorships is now in annals of history and therefore all totalitarian regimes and military dictatorships should know that their time is over.