Why foreign forces are unlikely to intervene in Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast's would-be prime minister, Guillaume Soro, called Wednesday for civil disobedience and foreign military intervention as the only ways out of the deadlock.
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In 2004, almost 10,000 French citizens were brought back to France by emergency military airlift after anti-French riots broke out.
President-elect lacks hard power
Ouattara remains, for the time being, a president with international recognition but no real power on the ground. This doesn't prevent him from trying, anyway he can, to cut the legs out from under Gbagbo's administration.
Evoking reports of Liberian and Angolan mercenaries on the payroll of Gbagbo, and the disappearances of pro-Ouattara activists from their home at night, would-be Prime Minister Soro called Wednesday for the International Criminal Court to investigate Gbagbo for crimes against humanity.
Ouattara's camp is also mobilizing international financial institutions in an effort to cut off Gbagbo's cash flow.
The World Bank, African Development Bank, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have all frozen Gbagbo's accounts, and efforts are still being pursued to secure the state treasury, which is located in Senegal as part of a central bank that covers eight west African countries.
Gbagbo warns neighbors
But Gbagbo retains one key element of dissuasion to convince his African neighbors to mind their own affairs, says Pham.
Because Ivory Coast exports electricity to its neighbors, “if they decide to act against Gbagbo, he could literally shut their lights off,” Pham says.
And should African nations move to enforce the internationally verified election results proclaiming Ouattara as the winner, Gbagbo has warned that they could experience similar interference.
“Whatever happens to Gbagbo,” he said referring to himself, “could potentially happen to all the African heads of state.”