Africa

Ivory Coast Politician Claims Rival Initiated Post-Election Violence

Jan. 5, 2011: A member of the security forces stands guard as people gather for a rally by youth leader Charles Ble Goude in support of Laurent Gbagbo, who recently named Goude to his cabinet, in the Koumassi neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. While the United Nations and other world powers recognize rival Alassane Ouattara as the winner of November presidential elections, Gbagbo has refused to step down for more than a month after the presidential runoff vote. The 15-nation regional bloc ECOWAS (The Economic Community Of West African States) has threatened to remove the incumbent leader if ongoing negotiations fail.

Jan. 5, 2011: A member of the security forces stands guard as people gather for a rally by youth leader Charles Ble Goude in support of Laurent Gbagbo, who recently named Goude to his cabinet, in the Koumassi neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. While the United Nations and other world powers recognize rival Alassane Ouattara as the winner of November presidential elections, Gbagbo has refused to step down for more than a month after the presidential runoff vote. The 15-nation regional bloc ECOWAS (The Economic Community Of West African States) has threatened to remove the incumbent leader if ongoing negotiations fail.  (AP)

Alassane Ouattara, the presidential claimant of Ivory Coast, said Thursday he had proof rival politician Laurent Gbagbo commanded foreign agents to carry out killings and initiated post-election violence.

According to Reuters, although Gbagbo’s side offered no immediate reaction, the United Nations confirmed the death toll to 210 and denounced the blocking of investigators who were probing the reported killings.

The nation has been in distress since a Nov. 28 presidential election in which African states and Western powers claim Ouattara has won.

Following a demand by Gbagbo for U.N. forces to leave the country, the organization responded Wednesday by calling for an additional 1,000-2,000 peacekeepers to increase the ranks of an already existing force of 10,000 policemen and soldiers, Reuters reports.

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