Although the West African regional body, ECOWAS, has threatened to use force to remove incumbent President Laurent Gbabgo, nobody wants to ignite a second civil war in Ivory Coast.
Tensions are escalating in Ivory Coast, where President Laurent Gbagbo refuses to yield power to President-elect Alassane Ouattara. The international community's coordinated economic pressures hold the most hope for peacefully ousting Mr. Gbagbo and prevent mounting violence. Where diplomatic efforts have fallen short, cutting off Gbagbo's funds may turn his allies against him.
The real battle for the world's No. 1 cocoa producer isn't happening on the streets of the commercial capital, Abidjan. It's unfolding in bank corridors.
Refugees from the Ivory Coast have been streaming across the Liberian border at a rate of roughly 500 per day, according to the United Nations.
Supporters of incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo react during a pro-Gbagbo rally in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on Jan. 9. Despite international pressure, Mr. Gbagbo still refuses to step down after losing the Nov. 28, 2010 election in Ivory Coast to Alassane Ouattara.
So far, international pressure has failed to convince incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo to step down in Ivory Coast after he lost the Nov. 28 election by 8 percentage points.
Youths raise their hands in a show of support for Laurent Gbagbo at a rally led by Gbagbo minister and youth leader Charles Ble Goude, in the Koumassi neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. While the United Nations and other world powers recognize rival Alassane Ouattara as the winner of November presidential elections, Gbagbo has refused to step down for more than a month after the presidential runoff vote. The 15-nation regional bloc ECOWAS has threatened to remove the incumbent leader if ongoing negotiations fail.
Despite threats from regional bloc ECOWAS that it would soon use force in Ivory Coast, leaders of the African Union said they will give mediation efforts more time.
An unidentified employee of the Stefanik Observatory in Prague uses a projection shield to show the partial solar eclipse visible in the Czech capital. The partial sun eclipse started over the Czech Republic at about 08:00 CET and it will last until 10:50. In the culminating phase, up to 80 percent of the solar disc was obscured by the silhouette of the moon passing between it and Earth.
Diplomatic options in Ivory Coast are running out after a group of African leaders failed to convince the incumbent president to step down and regional forces said they were beginning to discuss military strategies.