FINALLY African countries are seeing that there is strength in numbers. This damn president needs to leave and go find somewhere..West African nations are finally coming together to force out President Laurent after he lost the election in Abidjan.
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — West African leaders who delivered an ultimatum to Laurent Gbagbo to step down or face a military ouster left Ivory Coast late Tuesday without taking him into exile a month after the U.N. said he lost the disputed election.
Ivory Coast, President Laurent Gbagbo, Smile during an exclusive interview at his residence, in Abidjan, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010. West African leaders are giving the man who refuses to leave Ivory Coast’s presidency a final chance to hand over power and are threatening to remove him by force if needed, though doubts exist about whether the operation could be carried out. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Ivory Coast, President Laurent Gbagbo, Speak during an exclusive interview at his residence, in Abidjan, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010. West African leaders are giving the man who refuses to leave Ivory Coast’s presidency a final chance to hand over power and are threatening to remove him by force if needed, though doubts exist about whether the operation could be carried out. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Members of the Women’s Christian Association pray for peace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. Fears of a regional military intervention grew Monday in Ivory Coast following a threat from West African neighbors to force out incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo if he does not soon heed international calls to step down from power. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Cape Verde President Pedro Pires arrives at the airport in Abidjan, Ivory Coast Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010. A delegation of West African leaders went to Ivory Coast on Tuesday to confront Laurent Gbagbo and demand that he step down from the presidency or face a possible regional military intervention. The presidents of Sierra Leone, Benin and Cape Verde arrived in Abidjan, and are due to meet with Gbagbo at the presidential palace after first speaking with the top U.N. envoy in Ivory Coast. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
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In a sign of escalating tensions in the country, the U.N. mission said that one of its peacekeepers had been wounded with a machete when a large crowd in a pro-Gbagbo neighborhood encircled a convoy and set one of its three vehicles on fire.
The regional delegation led by presidents from Sierra Leone, Cape Verde and Benin held meetings with both Gbagbo and internationally recognized winner Alassane Ouattara, then returned to meet with Gbagbo a second time late Tuesday before leaving the country.
Gbagbo, the incumbent leader who has been in power for a decade in Ivory Coast, has shown no interest in stepping aside despite the international calls for him to go. While Ouattara has been endorsed by most of the world, Gbagbo still maintains control of Ivory Coast’s military and security forces.
Weeks of postelection violence have left at least 173 people dead, according to the United Nations. The toll is believed to be much higher: The U.N. said it has been unable to investigate reports of a mass grave because of restrictions on U.N. personnel movements.