A dear friend of mine–a wonderful, loving person with a family– lives in Ivory Coast, and I have been hearing first-hand from him about the terrible conditions that exist there for normal citizens, now that Laurent Gbagbo is refusing to recognize his defeat to Mr. Ouattara in the fair and open election that was held in November. My friend’s latest correspondence to me included the following, chilling sentences:
We need urgently that our friends around the world step up pressure on Mr Laurent Gbagbo to leave office.
Folks are dying every day. He has hired mercenaries and they are the ones who do most of the killings.
Thanks again and may the Lord help our country.
I have included below an excerpt from a recent AP article that describes the situation in Ivory Coast. I hope our readers will read it and then call or write to their representatives and senators to urge them to use the power of the U.S. to put pressure on Mr. Gbagbo. I have a sample letter that you can use, if needed. And
The Rightful President Alassane Outtara, who won 54% of the Vote
you can easily google contact information for your senator or congressperson .
People are dying. Please help.
Ghana president says ‘no’ to troops in Ivory Coast
(AP) – 2 hours ago
ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — The president of Ghana on Friday said his country is not able to send troops to oust the leader of Ivory Coast who is unwilling to cede office after losing presidential election in late November.
The announcement could complicate a move by a regional bloc of 15 nations in West Africa to mount a military intervention in order to allow the internationally recognized winner of the election Alassane Ouattara to assume his functions. He and his staff are barricaded inside a hotel, his exits blocked by soldiers loyal to Gbagbo.
ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, has twice sent a delegation to try to persuade Gbagbo to step down.
After the second attempt failed this week, the group began deliberating the military option. … Ghanaian President John Atta Mills said he backs ECOWAS, but said his troops are already committed to other peace missions around the world — including in Ivory Coast. … The international community has been uncharacteristically united in their decision to not recognize Gbagbo because the results were carefully reviewed and certified by a special United Nations election unit. Ouattara is under 24-hour guard at the Golf Hotel ….Gbagbo came to office 10 years ago in another messy election and overstayed his legal mandate, which expired in 2005 just after the end of the nation’s brief civil war. The election was rescheduled at least six times before it was finally held in October. Results from the runoff held on November 28, which were released by the electoral commission and validated by the United Nations, showed that Ouattara had won with 54 percent of the vote.
The United States, the European Union, the African Union and the United Nations’ General Assembly have all recognized Ouattara as the legitimate president. It’s created a dichotomy where the man that is the president-elect in the eyes of the world has no control of the institutions of state inside the country he was elected to run. Gbagbo still occupies the presidential palace and in the past week, he has stepped up the blockade on the Golf Hotel where Ouattara is holed up to the point that now the only way in or out is via a United Nations helicopter.
(Here is a picture of Gbagbo, the Man Who Would be King!)
Ouattara has asked foreign governments to no longer recognize ambassadors appointed by Gbagbo. Several countries have asked the pro-Gbagbo ambassadors to leave, including Canada and Britain…On Thursday, the Gbagbo regime retaliated. A government spokesman said they have asked the British and Canadian ambassadors to leave Ivory Coast within 30 days….The demand comes on the heels of an earlier declaration asking the nearly 10,000-strong United Nations mission to leave. But the force will stay and may grow. On Wednesday, Alain Le Roy, the U.N.’s peacekeeping chief said he will formally request an additional 1,000 to 2,000 peacekeepers from the Security Council to beef up the force in Ivory Coast.
The Gbagbo regime, however, has not asked the U.S. ambassador in Abidjan to leave, even though the Gbagbo-appointed diplomat in Washington was given his 30-day notice on Dec. 30, said an Obama administration official.
Associated Press correspondent Rukmini Callimachi in Abidjan, Ivory Coast