Ivory Coast's Ouattara: It's Time to Use Force

Leader urges West African forces to intervene against incumbent
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2011 2:04 PM CST
Ivory Coast's Ouattara: It's Time to Use Force
Ivorians living in Europe protest against incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo and the political situation in Ivory Coast, at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Saturday Jan. 15, 2011.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Ivory Coast’s president-elect Alassane Outtara is holed up in a hotel that has been encircled by the army, on orders of incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, for two months. Now, Outtara tells Time, he’s ready for West Africa’s economic community to use force. “I wanted to give peace and dialogue a chance. Now that that's failed, we must consider other methods,” he says. “Gbagbo and his cronies are behaving like gangsters.”

The economic alliance, known as Ecowas, will need help from the EU and US, Outtara says. As for timing, “I hope we will know when by the end of this month, because it will make two months since I've been elected.” Meanwhile, he believes only 10% of the military supports Gbagbo. “The real problem is that Gbagbo has stashed a huge supply of arms,” he says. But “at some stage, the majority of the army will move, I think, against Mr. Gbagbo. Force should be used against him, whether internally or externally."
(Read more Alassane Ouattara stories.)

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