Ouattara calls for intervention

2011-03-22 10:52

Abidjan, Ivory Coast – Ivory Coast’s internationally recognised president is calling for the United Nations to authorise the use of “legitimate force” to protect civilians after a mortar attack last week killed at least 25 people.

Alassane Ouattara yesterday accused the UN of being too passive in protecting civilians amid an increasingly violent political crisis.

He called for a rapid intervention force, permanent checkpoints in strategic parts of the city and the destruction of the arsenal held by incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to cede power.

The UN peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast numbers some 10 000 soldiers and says it carried out 841 ground and air patrols last week.

Over 435 people have died since the crisis began and nearly 400 000 have fled the fighting.

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