Ecowas calls on UN to oust Gbagbo

2011-03-24 22:17

Abuka - The regional body representing nations in West Africa called on the United Nations Security Council to take immediate steps to force the outgoing president of Ivory Coast to cede office.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Economic Community of West African States described the situation in Ivory Coast as a "regional humanitarian emergency" caused by President Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to yield power.

The bloc, known as Ecowas, said the Security Council needs "to facilitate the immediate transfer of power to Mr Alassane Ouattara".

Mounting violence in Ivory Coast has claimed the lives of more than 460 people since the November 28 election. Gbagbo lost by a nearly 9-point margin to opposition leader Ouattara, but has refused to stand down.

His militias, meanwhile, have begun attacking United Nations peacekeepers and foreigners who have been labelled "terrorists" on state TV, in what appears to be a desperate attempt to cling to power.

In recent days, Gbagbo's youth minister Charles Ble Goude has also called for attacks on immigrants from neighbouring African countries because their countries refuse to recognize Gbagbo as the country's leader.

Immigrants from Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria living in Ivory Coast have been beaten to death with bricks, rods and planks of wood. Several have been set on fire after being "necklaced," a brutal technique in which the victim is set on fire after a tire is wedged down around their body.

Enforce decisions

In February, the army which remains loyal to Gbagbo began using heavy artillery against the population, including opening fire with a tank on a group of unarmed women who had organized an all-women march to demand that Gbagbo leave.

In the resolution published on Thursday, the West African bloc said it is "convinced that the current situation is a direct consequence of the refusal of the outgoing President, Mr Laurent Gbagbo, to cede power to Mr Alassane Ouattara, the universally recognized winner of the 28 November 2010 election."

The bloc also said that it has "firmly decided that the time has come to enforce its decisions of 7 and 24 December". At those meetings, Ecowas had ruled they would use all means including "the legitimate use of force" to remove Gbagbo.

Experts on the Ivory Coast say that Ecowas is attempting to replicate what happened in Libya, where the Security Council authorized the use of force. Although Ecowas has the power to use force on its own, getting a United Nations blessing gives legitimacy to the venture.

In Paris, African Union leader Jean Ping told reporters that Gbagbo is forcing the hand of the international community. Earlier this month, the AU released its final decision on Ivory Coast, calling for Gbagbo to leave and for the country's highest court to swear in Ouattara, who has been forced to live inside a UN-protected hotel since the contested election four months ago.

"We had an agreement that could avoid civil war. This agreement was accepted by Ouattara. It was rejected by Gbagbo. We continue to try to persuade [him] to accept the agreement," Ping said.

"But The civil war is almost there. If there is no possibility of a peaceful solution I'm afraid the use of force might intervene."

- AP

Read more on:    ecowas  |  au  |  laurent gbagbo  |  ivory coast  |  west africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

  • Wednesday Cape Town - 09:21 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    Earlier ACCIDENT before Hospital Bend has been moved to the side of the carriageway - HEAVY DELAYS from Duinefontein Road
  • Wednesday Kenilworth - 09:17 AM
    Road name: M5 Northbound
    DELAYS between Ottery and Kenilworth due to roadworks in the area
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:


You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.