West African Mission Returns to Ivory Coast to Meet with Defiant Gbagbo
The same three West African Presidents who Laurent Gbagbo rebuffed last week return to Ivory Coast today with a new set of entreaties to get Gbagbo to step down. They will be joined by Kenya’s Raila Odinga, on behalf of the African Union. The ECOWAS enoys will now include an offer of amnesty in their pitch.
Leaders from Benin, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone and Kenya are expected to make an amnesty offer to Laurent Gbagbo if he quits, the BBC has learned […]
On Monday they were joined by Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, representing the African Union.
“He will seek a peaceful settlement to the election crisis… and seek an assurance of safety and security for Mr Laurent Gbagbo and his supporters, if he agrees to cede power,” Mr Odinga’s office said in a statement.
Publicly, Gbagbo already rejected the offer. But I’m wondering how this offer of amnesty squares with UN evidence of atrocities committed by pro-Gbagbo forces in the wake of the election, including extra-judicial killings. They’ve also launched an investigation into rumors of mass graves, and the marking of houses to identify ethnicity, seen as a prelude to civil war. The UN claims that the risk of further atrocities has shrunk somewhat, but only because Alassane Ouattara has been prevented from taking control of state institutions to this point. At some point the stasis will break, and almost regardless of the outcome, one side or the other is likely to react with violence. Regardless of the international solidarity behind Ouattara and the UN-endorsed election result, it’s hard to find a way out of this without a military intervention or some other violent outcome.