A Comparative Study : Senegal and the Cote d'Ivoire
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In surveying Senegal and the Cote d'Ivoire, it is apparent that the situation in both countries is incredibly complicated. While each state started out with a similar background as French colonies, they could not have turned out any different. Senegal has remained relatively peaceful and the Cote d'Ivoire is in the process of overcoming a civil war. There are many reasons for this, but in deducing from the research, it is clear that the main difference between the two countries is that political stability in Senegal is maintain by the practice of religion. Intermediary actors, specifically the marabouts, act as mediators between the politicians and the people and when violence occurs, the marabouts calm the people down. The Senegalese people listen to the marabouts because they believe that the marabout is their vehicle to speaking with God and essentially their guide to paradise. Religion takes priority over politics even if they are dysfunctional. In the Cote d'Ivoire, political instability arises from all arenas. The first president acted as more of an authoritarian ruler who led the way for other politicians to exploit their privileged position. There is no intermediary in the Cote d'Ivoire to mediate issues of political unrest, economic difficulties and tribal differences. When the government acts against the best interests of the people, the various leaders attempt to gain advantage which often leads to violence.