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Why foreign forces are unlikely to intervene in Ivory Coast

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While the possibility of an African intervention has been floating in diplomatic circles, “this option would be spearheaded by Nigeria, which doesn't want to embark on a foreign military escapade on the eve of their own presidential election,” says Mr. Pham.

Foreigners flee

In the meantime, foreigners are fleeing, concerned that widespread violence could break out any minute.

One after another, foreign governments have called on their citizens to leave. The United States, Canada, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, and Portugal have all called for a general evacuation.

In 2004, almost 10,000 French citizens were brought back to France by emergency military airlift after anti-French riots broke out.

President-elect lacks hard power

Ouattara remains, for the time being, a president with international recognition but no real power on the ground. This doesn't prevent him from trying, anyway he can, to cut the legs out from under Gbagbo's administration.

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