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.
In the meantime, foreigners are fleeing, concerned that widespread violence could break out any minute.
In 2004, almost 10,000 French citizens were brought back to France by emergency military airlift after anti-French riots broke out.
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.