The UN supports Ouattara – now what?

Not sure this is going to help resolve the crisis in Côte D’Ivoire:

The UN Security Council has issued a statement saying that Ivory Coast opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara won the disputed presidential election.

The statement came after three days of debate at the UN, in which Russia expressed concern that the UN was exceeding its mandate. (BBC, 12/9/10)

Gbago and his supporters have spent years attacking Ouattara and his supporters as being beholden to foreign interests. So all the international support for Ouattara might just play right into these fears and deepen the resistance of the South against a power transition.

It is curious, though, how eagerly the International Community does support Ouattara. In my experience, the ECOWAS, AU, EU, UN, etc … tend to either stay out of domestic power struggles or carefully support the status quo over change. Most of the time, they really don’t have a mandate to get involved anyway. Apparently the UN argues it does have a mandate in Côte D’Ivoire based on the peace treaty after the 2002 civil war. I suspect that Ouattara, a former Deputy Managing Director at the IMF, has a strong international network, which makes him attractive to these international organizations.

However, I wonder if it is in the best interest of the people of Côte D’Ivoire for the UN to take sides. If this strategy causes Gbago to dig in his heels even more, it will deepen the distrust and cause more suffering to the ordinary people.

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