Foreign Policy is carrying an open letter on the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire signed by a large group of experts on West Africa.
“Laurent Gbagbo is clinging to power after rejecting the results of the presidential elections, as declared by the Independent Electoral Commission, certified by the UN, and recognized by the international community, designating Alassane Ouattara as the clear winner.
There is now a real risk that the situation will escalate into civil war. In pro-opposition neighborhoods of Abidjan, numerous individuals have disappeared in the wake of operations by security forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo. News reports have shown corpses lying in the streets, while morgues have refused to release the bodies of those killed to their families. Converging accounts have led the UN to suspect the existence of mass graves and the incineration of bodies, but Gbabgo’s security forces have prevented investigations of the alleged sites. Outside Abidjan, particularly in the western region, NGOs are reporting incidents of serious violence against the civilian population.”