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What would it take to remove Ivory Coast's Gbagbo?

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Luc Gnago/Reuters

(Read caption) Police on patrol in armoured vehicles pass people walking on a road in Abobo in Abidjan on Jan. 11. At least five people were killed in clashes between supporters of Ivory Coast's presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara and forces loyal to incumbent Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan on Tuesday.

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After more than a month, the brinksmanship that has brought Ivory Coast back to civil war continues.

Two men, opposition leader Alassane Ouattara and incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, claim to be president. Most electoral observers, the country’s electoral commission, the United Nations, and most world leaders (aside from Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe) have proclaimed Mr. Ouattara the winner of the Nov. 28 runoff election. The vote count itself shows that Ouattara won with an 8 percent point margin.

Mr. Gbagbo clings to his office mainly through the loyalty of his powerful southern-based party, and through the country’s army. The radio and TV stations he controls have been accused of inciting hatred and violence against Ouattara’s party and ethnic group, and against the UN.

African Union mediators have come and gone, but the crisis continues.


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