While the AU is bidding time to act, there is agrowing humanitarian crisis that continues todefine the post-election stand-off. Recently, theUN estimates that over 400,000 people are onthe move: 200,000 displaced from Abidjanalone, and 90,000 having already crossed intoLiberia and Guinea.
5,000 have since mid-March crossed into Ghana. The death toll oncivilians caught in-between the fighting forcesalso continues to increase on a daily basis. So farthe UN reports that about 425 people have beenkilled.
In spite of the growing humanitarian situationin La Côte d’Ivoire, the conflict is graduallyfalling into oblivion. The internationalcommunity now appears too be busy with more‘urgent’ issues. On 17 March 2011 the UnitedNations Security Council (UNSC) took a decisiveaction to protect civilians in Libya by imposing ano-fly zone over the country.
Following that decision, international military action has begunin Libya to stop Colonel Muammar Gaddafi frommassacring his own people.
At the same time25 civilians were reported to have been killed inLa Côte d’Ivoire, yet responses from theinternational community to the two situationshave been remarkably different.
When it relates to the crisis in La Côte d’Ivoire, it appears that the initial enthusiasm by theinternational community to resolve thedeadlock over the presidency of the country hasdied down and given way to indecision and
. BBC News, ‘Ivory Coast: Laurent Gbagbo supports “join”army’ athttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12804728.Accessed 21 March 2011.
. See UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (SC 10200) athttp://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10200.doc.htm.Access 19 March 2011.
. BBC News, ‘Missile destroy Gaddafi building’, athttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12801812.Accessed 21 March 2011.
. France24, ‘Shell kill 25 in Abidjan market’, athttp://www.france24.com/en/20110317-deadly-shell-strikes-busy-abidjan-market-place-ivory-coast. Accessed 18 March2011.
prevarication about implementing decisions onthe way forward. More worryingly is the fact that there is no clear leadership on the situation fromthe side of the international community (i.e UN,AU and ECOWAS). This lack of clear leadershiphas resulted in confused signals to all parties tothe conflict.Admittedly, it is clear that the internationalcommunity has lost control over the Ivoriansituation. Initial attempts at mediation have bornlittle or no fruit. For the past one month, therehave been constant reports of fighting betweenforces loyal to President (or Ex-President)Gbagbo and the ‘Forces Nouvelles’, a rebel groupthat supports President Ouattara (based onrecognition by the international community).Another rebel group is reported to have sprungup and it operating in Abidjan. The clashesbetween forces loyal to both Gbagbo andOuattara have resulted in increase in civiliansuffering.In our first policy brief on the situation in La Côted’Ivoire in January 2011, we argued against military intervention and a called for anegotiated third party settlement of the crisis.
Given that all endeavours at a negotiatedsettlement have been characterised byentrenched positions by all parties to theconflict, and the fact that fighting has escalated,in this second policy brief on the situation in LaCôte d’Ivoire we are calling for enforcement action led by the United Nations Operations in LaCôte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) to stop the fighting,protect civilians and restore stability to thetroubled country. We argue that given the extent to which the situation has degenerated, it is onlya UN force with a strong enforcement mandate,action and capability that can save the situationand protect hapless civilians who are at the
. See Aning, Kwesi and Atuobi, Samuel, ‘Challenges of theCote d’Ivoire crisis for West Africa: exploring options for anegotiated settlement’,
KAIPTC Policy Brief,