Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Friday, November 12, 2004

Ivory Coast prisoners on the loose
As if things weren't bad enough in the Ivory Coast, the New York Times reports that 4000 of it's most dangerous inmates escaped through the sewers of the largest prison in Abidjan this week. Officials say some are hiding in the forests, while many are in the city itself. Last week, inmates had rioted after "at least five days without water" at the prison. Seven people died in the riots.

The Ivory Coast is a rough enough place as it is, and the French will be disconcerted by the thought of 4000 murderers on the streets, criminals who can easily be harnessed by rebel groups offering protection in return for their 'skills' in fighting the French. Thabo Mbeki's notable skills as a peace negotiator must be put to good in the coming days.