Poisoned Chalice? by ProQuest

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									THEWORLDTODAY.ORG NOVEMBER 2008
PAGE 24
          COTE D’IVOIRE AND ZIMBABWE
          Daniel Balint-Kurti, ASSOCIATE, FELLOW, AFRICA PROGRAMME, CHATHAM HOUSE




     Poısoned Chalıce?
                                 In September,
                    Zimbabwean opposition
                   leader Morgan Tsvangirai
                      signed a power-sharing
                           deal with President
                   Robert Mugabe, aimed at
                                                                        i           F MORGAN TSVANGIRAI WANTS AN IDEA HOW HIS RECENT
                                                                                      power-sharing arrangement with President Robert
                                                                                      Mugabe could turn out, he would do well to sit down
                                                                                      for a chat with the former premier of a country
                                                                                      thousands of miles away.
                                                                                         Charles Konan Banny, who was until last year
                                                                            premier of war-divided Côte d’Ivoire, had the not-altogether-
                                                                            pleasurable experience of running the West African country
                                                                            alongside a president who, like Mugabe, was under pressure
                                                                            from the international community and domestic opponents.
                                                                               Banny was nominated at the end of 2005, following
                                                                            a United Nations resolution calling for a new consensus
                     ending years of political                              premier with ‘all the necessary powers’ to manage a
                        conflict and economic                               difficult peace process. He was a member of the opposition,
                                                                            but had long been out of the political limelight as an
                           decline. There have                              international central banker.

                       already been problems
                                                                            TA N D E M T R O U B L E
                    forming a cabinet, so can                                  Banny declared that he would run the country ‘in tandem’
                                                                            with President Laurent Gbagbo, but by the end of the
                         such a deal work? An                               following year the growing rupture between the two was so
                                                                            evident that even Banny, usually publicly upbeat whatever his
                    unsettling answer comes                                 private thoughts, came close to admitting failure. ‘The person
                          from another deeply                               I had considered as a partner on a tandem bike is not
                                                                            pedalling in the same direction as me any more,’ he said.
                             divided, but once                                 Like Banny, Tsvangirai greeted his country’s power-sharing
                                                                            deal with optimism. He spoke of the ‘hope of a new beginning’
                    prosperous, African state                               and called on his countrymen to ‘build a new Zimbabwe’, but
                                                                            the tone was far from Polyanna-ish. ‘Hope alone will not
                        which should itself be                              deliver our new Zimbabwe,’ he warned, ever aware that the
                                                                            scars of Mugabe’s regime – brutality he experienced first-hand
                               taking a further                             – cannot simply be wished away.
                                                                               As if to point out the fragility of such hopes, Mugabe said at
                              democratic step                               the signing ceremony that ‘there are a lot of things in the
     
								
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