Britain says it will support military intervention in Ivory Coast
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that his country will support UN-sanctioned military intervention as fears of the tension devolving into genocide and civil war grow.
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Despite the international pressure, the situation in the Ivory Coast remains fragile. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that the West African nation could be on the verge of civil war. Gbagbo’s “Street General,” Minister for Youth Charles Ble Goude called on Ivorians to storm Ouattara’s hotel on New Year's Day, which is currently being protected by the UN, reports Agence France-Presse.Skip to next paragraph
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There are concerns that Gbagbo’s security forces could be hiding mass graves, reports Euronews. UN officials say they are concerned that a building in Abidjan, the largest city in the Ivory Coast, could have as many as 80 bodies. Human rights groups have accused Gbagbo loyalists of abducting and torturing Ouattara supporters. Gbagbo’s forces have refused to allow the UN access to the building.
The United States has also been closely monitoring the situation. On Tuesday, Obama administration officials dispatched a Pentagon team to Abidjan to look into evacuating US diplomats and citizens, reports The Washington Post. The US and France also said they are “exploring the prospect of reinforcing the UN peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast.” According to UN officials there are no plans to add to its 9,000 troops currently stationed there.
Throughout Abidjan there are appear to be mixed reactions to the UN peacekeeping forces, with some people showing support and others openly hostile. In the last two days, two UN patrols were attacked reports Reuters.