Friday, January 23, 2004

Anti-French feeling

It seems some anti-French feeling is taking hold in the Ivory Coast. Whether it is deserved or not is debatable:

The French have good reason to try to quell tension in the former colony.

About 20,000 nationals were living in the country prior to the crisis.

Although some 5,000 have left, French investors still play a significant role in the economy, to the irritation of some men who are close to the president.

"The French think they run the place. It is fine for them to live here but I don't see why they should benefit so much," one of them told me.

Anti-white feelings are new to Ivory Coast, according to a diplomatic source who says that racism has only occurred since an army mutiny 15 months ago.

"Since September 2002, anti-French sentiment has been whipped up. Obviously that impacts on other white people but it's been artificially manufactured," the source said.


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