The Ivory Coast is in turmoil right now. With the recent elections in dispute by incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, the Ivory Coast could go into civil war it is thought. Alassane Ouattara the termed “alternative government” is currently holed up in a hotel protected by 800 UN troops and with tanks outside the building where he is staying. The United States, France and the United Nations believe that Alassane Quattara won as well as the electoral body who counted the results.
The issue is that Laurent Gbagbo who has been sworn in already and was declared winner of the elections by the Constitutional Council to whom they’ve been acclaimed as allies of the Gbagbo administration. Gbagbo claims that he would settle for a recount, however there has been no current press release to these statements.
The Ivory Coast has been at civil war since 2002 however fighting stopped when UN forces intervened (France) and separated the fighting. The Ivory Coast government mostly controls Southern regional areas of the Ivory Coast however the Northern regions are mostly controlled by the guerrilla forces. The Ivory Coast is the world’s largest cocoa producer, it is thought if the country were reunified, the Ivory Coast could possibly get back on-track with its economy and developing into a more prosperous country. Recently three African heads of states visited the Ivory Coast and the sworn in President, Laurent Gbagbo, in hopes of getting him to back down and resign. Gbagbo has ordered UN troops out of the Ivory Coast, however the UN has responded in defiance.
Gbagbo has suggested a recount. This is largely to do with the fact he believes up to 60,000 votes were fraudulently added in the Northern areas of the Ivory Coast. This seems the best approach to take at the moment. A recounting or perhaps another election monitored by impartial international bodies who could appropriate and administer the voting process is in due order. This would stop any hostile conflict from ever taking place and is a valid option which Alassane Ouattara should really agree to to prevent anyone being injured.
What’s been going on behind the scenes
The appointed Prime Minister, Guillaume Soro has given the latest on what he thinks his alternative government is thinking at the moment. He states he wants an African force to step in and forcibly remove Gbagbo from power. The alternative government has also expressed ideas such as ousting Gbagbo from power by controlling the economy. With this said, the World Bank has frozen payments to the Ivory Coast. This also means that Gbagbo might not be able to pay the army which at the moment is the force that will likely defend him if a coup takes place.
It is hard to get the latest from within the Ivory Coast as Gbagbo has banned international news groups from entering the country as well as imposing curfews. However it seems as if Gbagbo isn’t going to budge soon, even though neighboring countries around the Ivory Coast have backed the alternative or shadow government. 14,000 Ivorians have fled the country.