Ivorian crisis: Use of force 'may be the only option' left

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - The use of force to dislodge incumbent Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo is becoming inevitable due to the failure so far of diplomatic efforts to resolve the post-election crisis in the West African country, Nigeria's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hajia Salamatu Suleiman, said Friday.

Hajia Suleiman was briefing reporters here on the meeting between Guillaume Soro, the special envoy of Alassane Ouattara, the man widely believed to have won Cote d'Ivoire's presidential runoff last year, and current ECOWAS Chairman and Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja Friday.

She said the ECOWAS Chairman had sent many envoys to Cote d'Ivoire with a view to resolving the post-election crisis peacefully, but without much success.

“As you know, the President under the auspices of ECOWAS has been sending many envoys to Cote d' Ivoire to try and resolve the issue diplomatically so that there would be no use of military power. But as it appears, that remains the only option,'' the Minister said.

She noted, however, that the Nigerian leader and his colleagues in ECOWAS ''are still trying to explore dialogue and the best way forward in settling this...crissis''.

ECOWAS has threatened to remove Gbagbo by force if he refuses to step down for Ouattara, the man internationally-acknowledged to have won the 28 Nov. 2010 presidential runoff in the cocoa-rich West African nation.

The African Union special envoy on the Ivorian crisis has also acknowledged that his efforts have so far failed to persuade Gbagbo to step down.
-0- PANA MON/SEG 21Jan2011

21 january 2011 14:39:56

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