Obama sees Ivory Coast as lingering threat

Feb. 5, 2014 at 9:44 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Ivory Coast still poses an "unusual" threat to U.S. national security despite gains made since political crises in 2011, President Barack Obama said.

Ivory Coast was pushed to the brink of civil war three years ago after rival claims of victory in presidential elections the previous year. Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo faces war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court, though human rights groups suspect President Alassane Ouattara played a role in the atrocities.

Obama said Tuesday he reinstated a declaration made when civil war erupted in Ivory Coast in 2006 that the West African country posed a threat to the United States

"While the government of Ivory Coast and its people continue to make progress towards peace and prosperity, the situation in or in relation to Ivory Coast continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States," Obama's declaration read.

Elections in 2010 were meant to unite a country divided by the earlier civil war. At least 3,000 people were killed during the post-election crisis in 2011.

Presidential elections are scheduled for next year in Ivory Coast.

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