The presidency of the Ivory Coast has been in dispute since votes were counted in November of 2010. The Constitutional Council ruled in favour of Gbagbo who was sworn in as president however though his opponent according to the Electoral Commission (Overseen by the United Nations) states that Ouattara had won by 54% against Gbagbo’s 51%. Apparent supporters of Gbagbo are part of the Constitutional Council which is where the belief that Gbagbo is being backed by them solely because of this. However the argument made by Gbagbo is that there has been large electoral fraud in the northern parts of the Ivory Coast which are not controlled by the official government.
International support has largely backed Quattara who is being supported with the help of the UN peacekeeping forces stationed in the Ivory Coast. The World Bank and Ecowas have not recognized Gbabgo has the winner of the 2010 elections. It is reported that Gbagbo will run out of money to pay the Ivory Coast army if he intends to fight any military intervention by countries who are in Ecowas. (Economic Community Of West African States) – As recently the organisation has threatened to remove Gbagbo by force. Quattara has asked for Ecowas special forces to remove Gbabgo.
As of recent the UK and Canada have rejected any appointed diplomats by Gbagbo and in return Gbagbo has expelled these nations diplomats from the Ivory Coast. This has been done in support of Quattara to pick diplomats for these nations. Both these countries have rejected the legitimacy of these expulsions. The US has also announced it has frozen assets of which Gbabgo has in the United States also in support of Quattara while also banning any commercial deals being made with Gbabgo’s government.
If military intervention were to take place which Ecowas have threatened, they would likely have to meet an 18,000 strong regular force of the Ivory Coast. It is disputed whether Ecowas could gather a force larger than this to deal with the removal of Mr. Gbagbo especially gather the equipement for operations like this. France who have kept the peace (Since 2002) between the rebels of the north and the government of the south have a force of 900 in the Ivory Coast however they have said they would not intervene. On the other hand the UN have 10,000 troops based in the Ivory Coast, though it is largely thought they would not militarily intervene and only act as protection for who they believe to be the rightful president. The UN have also oppointed Quattara’s chosen envoy to the UN of the Ivory Coast.
Mr. Quattara has stated that Ecowas would only have to remove Gbagbo and gain control to the presidential palace in order for “government in waiting” to take over of government operations in the Ivory Coast. However Ecowas has never dealt with a country as big as the Ivory Coast especially in tasks for military intervention. Though there is no rush for military intervention to take place, diplomatic channels should be used first, Mr. Quattara says in a press release.
Does Gbabgo have a point?
From Mr. Gbagbo’s official website:
“Even the independent electoral commission declares a winner and observers of the UN support without considering the situations of fraud in the North. in one of these areas there has been more ballots than registered persons on the lists, for example 159.788 ballot votes on a list of 48, 400 registered. is one of the situations that make the administration of m.Gbagbo think the election in the North have been manipulated to steal the victory.Afrocentricity international calls for peaceful resolution of the situation and agrees with former President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana as the two sides expressed the wish to see the votes recounted or conduct further investigations carried out by independent observers. what we must avoid at all costs is the intervention of French troops or American. We already know that the northern rebels have infiltrated the south with some weapons.”