Will UN Confront “Election Theft” in Ivory Coast? Opposition wins/incumbent clings to Power - France role? By Ambassador mo

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UN Special Representative to Ivory Coast, Choi Youn-jin, has verified declaration by Polling Commission that the opposition candidate has won but will long serving incumbent continue behavior of clinging to power at any cost? Election held at end of February was supposed to end years of brutal conflict which frequently targeted civilians – young girls systematically raped and non-combatants mutilated reminiscent of worst of what happened in Sierra Leone and Liberia a few years earlier. Ethnic, religious and tribal delineations have been again employed as weapons of hate in this traditionally pluralistic society.

History of Clinging to Power & Abuse:
Current incumbent Laurent Ghagbo has been blamed for much of this worsening situation. He came in as a reformer replacing a previous despot but now appears again to be has assuming the role of clinging to power by whatever means. It was his previous effort to disqualify opponents on basis of ethnicity and xenophobia that ignited conflict and some of the worst abuses in the earlier part of this decade.

The UN sent observers and peacekeeping troops to what has become a divided and traumatized country. These November 2010 elections were supposed to bring about a fresh start for democracy and coexistence.

France as Behind Scenes Power & UN Security Council Credibility:
France, the old colonial power dominating the Ivory Coast, has traditionally played a guiding role behind the scenes, some suspecting duplicitous roles. Now France will probably have to take a more transparent role, as it almost seems inevitable that matter will end up before UN Security Council.

So far France has backed UN role. The apparent victory of the opposition candidate Alassane Ourtara has been unequivocally endorsed by UN Special Representative Choi, even as incumbent Ghagbo clings to the Presidential office in Abidjan, closes countries borders and speaks of expelling UN peacekeepers and observers.

Inevitable that Ivory Coast/Elections Ends Up Before UN Security Council?
UN Special Representative Choi apparently has done his job as well as serving interests of democracy and respect for rule of war. Will UN Security Council back him up? I suspect that Laurent Ghagbo, especially given his previous record, will not walk out of office just because he lost elections! The real clue to the survival of democracy and the rule of law as well as maintaining peace and security – saving people from another slaughter – may rest with Paris and its decisiveness as well as commitment.
See video report at unsecuritycounciltv.com or link at diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/movie/un-cote-divoire-election/22681
by Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

About the author


"Voice of the Global Citizen"- Diplomatically Incorrect (diplomaticallyincorrect.org) provide film and written reports on issues reflecting diplomatic discourse and the global citizen. Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey (@MuhamedSacirbey) is former Foreign Minister Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina at the United Nations. "Mo" is also signatory of the Rome Conference/Treaty establishing the International…

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