Impasse On The Ivory Coast

Here we have another example of where an election was held and the loser refuses to give up power peacefully.

African Presidents Urge Gbagbo to Resign

Three African heads of state are in Abidjan, on behalf of West African regional bloc ECOWAS, to urge incumbent Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, to step down and bring a peaceful end to a violent, month-long, political power struggle.

It has now been a month since Ivory Coast’s November 28 presidential runoff that was meant to mark an end to more than a decade of internal division in the post-conflict country, but has instead led to a tense political showdown that the United Nations says has killed more than 170 people.

The presidents of Benin, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde are set to meet with incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, in Abidjan Tuesday to deliver an ECOWAS ultimatum: Gbagbo can step down peacefully or face removal by force.

. . .

The United Nations and much of the international community say challenger Alassane Ouattara won the presidential election.

. . .

Original electoral commission results said Ouattara won the poll with 54 percent of votes. The constitutional court, led by a Gbagbo ally, then annulled 10 percent of ballots as fraudulent and proclaimed Gbagbo the winner with 51 percent of votes.

. . .

ECOWAS has threatened a military intervention if Gbagbo refuses to step down, but some analysts doubt whether West African nations have the operational capability, manpower or political will for such an effort and worry that any attempt at a forceful removal could trigger open conflict.

Gbagbo has warned any attempt to remove him by force could reignite civil war.

See also:
African leaders meet with Gbagbo to deal with Ivory Coast crisis
Three West African presidents try to convince incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to step down
African Leaders Visit Ivory Coast to Pressure President Gbagbo to Quit
Ecowas pressures Gbagbo to step down, as refugees flee to Liberia
Ivory Coast’s incumbent president locked in crucial negotiations
Gbagbo defiant at African ultimatum
Ivory Coast Leader Insists He is Rightful President
News Analysis: Cote d’Ivoire at crossroads of war and peace
UN convoy attacked in Ivory Coast
UN says crowd attacked peacekeepers in Ivory Coast
Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)
Cote d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire

Judging by the mutually exclusive stances of the two sides, it sure doesn’t look like there’s going to be a peaceful transition of power here.

/I hope I’m wrong, but I predict there will be blood

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Thar She Blows?

Missing ship ‘found’ off Africa

A missing merchant ship with 15 Russian crew members on board has been spotted off the coast of West Africa, unconfirmed reports say.

The Arctic Sea had last been sighted in the Bay of Biscay on 30 July.

Reports citing coastguards suggested it had been seen some 400 nautical miles north of the Cape Verde islands.

However amid continuing uncertainty, the Russian envoy in Cape Verde said he had contacted the military there and the sighting had not been confirmed.

Russian navy ships have been searching for the 4,000-tonne Maltese-flagged vessel, which had been carrying timber.

Observers have suggested the ship was hijacked, possibly because of a Russian commercial dispute.

Following the reported sighting, a spokesman for the French defence ministry told the BBC that the Arctic Sea was thought to be in international waters.

The spokesman said his information came from the Cape Verde coastguard, who said the ship was outside its jurisdiction.

However, the spokesman said there was a “high possibility” that the ship had been located. French intelligence officials also believe they have found the ship in the same area, he said.

The Russian ambassador to Cape Verde, Alexander Karpushin, told Associated Press news agency that a Russian frigate was heading to the area but had no information on the Arctic Sea’s location.

Russia’s RIA news agency later quoted Mr Karpushin as saying that confirmation that the Arctic Sea had been spotted “400 nautical miles north of the island of Santo Antao… did not prove to be true”.

Five Russian warships and other vessels have been searching the Atlantic for the vessel.

arctic sea

Just a wee bit off course.

See also:
Cargo ship near Cape Verde, official says
Missing ship Arctic Sea spotted in mid-Atlantic
France: missing cargo ship found near Cape Verde
Missing Ship Arctic Sea’s Owner Unaware of Sighting (Update3)
Missing ‘ghost ship’ Arctic Sea spotted off Cape Verde… but Russia says it’s a false alarm
Where Oh Where Has The Arctic Sea Gone, Where Oh Where Can It Be?

Of course, even if this is a legitimate sighting of the Arctic Sea, it still doesn’t explain why she’s sailing off the coasr of Africa, where she’s heading, or who’s in control of her.

/and so, the mystery continues . . .