No military force for Ivory Coast?

Jan. 7, 2011 at 1:53 PM   |   Comments

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- International military force isn't likely to solve the political impasse in the Ivory Coast, the president of Ghana said Friday.

The Ivory Coast has been locked in political turmoil since November elections, meant to unite a country divided by civil war, produced no clear winner. Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo has the backing of some of the military and a constitutional court while his rival, Alassane Ouattara, has the support of the international community.

The Economic Community of West African States said it was considering force to persuade Gbagbo to step down, a sentiment supported by Ouattara earlier this week.

Ghana President John Atta Mills, however, said he supported ECOWAS intervention in the matter but added that he didn't think force would solve the impasse in the former French colony.

"I personally do not think the military option will solve the problem in Ivory Coast," he told the BBC.

Washington announced late Thursday that the U.S. Treasury Department froze the assets of Gbagbo and members of his family.

"Laurent Gbagbo continues to demonstrate wanton disregard for the will and well-being of the people of Ivory Coast," said Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets, in a statement. "Today's designations will isolate him and his inner circle from the world's financial system and underscore the desire of the international community that he steps down."

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