Tuesday, 5 April 2011

UN (and France) move to stop another bloodbath in Ivory Coast

Humanitarian intervention seems to be firmly back on the agenda these days—first NATO and a few Arab partners in Libya, now France and the UN working together in the Ivory Coast. The Independent this morning has a convenient summary of developments overnight:
The United Nations and France joined the offensive to dislodge Ivory Coast's presidential pariah Laurent Gbagbo last night, launching air strikes against forces loyal to the man who has refused to cede power after losing an election.

The battle for Abidjan took on an unprecedented international aspect as the UN responded to days of attacks against its peacekeepers by stretching its mandate to protect civilians to the maximum with a show of force. ...
... In what appeared to be a premeditated move to support the forces of Mr Ouattara, France quickly authorised its military to join in the UN campaign. Last night, the attack was intensified with rockets fired at targets close to Mr Gbagbo's official residence in Abidjan.

Ivory Coast's rival presidents have been locked for days in a violent stand-off in the commercial capital, with hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped amid the fighting.

The sudden escalation came after diplomats in New York confirmed warnings by the UN's special representative to Ivory Coast, Choi Young-jin, that peacekeepers were planning to use "air assets" to fire back at Gbagbo forces who have wounded 11 UN personnel in recent days.

An especially strongly worded resolution passed last week by the UN Security Council condemned "in the strongest terms the recent escalation of violence throughout the country which could amount to crimes against humanity". The unanimous resolution also stressed the Council's "full support" for the UN peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast "to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence... including to prevent the use of heavy weapons against the civilian population."
 Read the rest of the article in an effort to gain good insight into this developing current example of outside intervention motivated by humanitarian concerns.

No comments:

Post a Comment