News / Africa

Analyst: ECOWAS Should Not Abdicate Responsibility on Ivory Coast

Kabiru Mato of the University of Abuja says President Johnathan's appeal for UN action on ivory Coast shows ECOWAS does not want to use force

Heads of state and members of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) pose for a photograph after attending the 39th ECOWAS Summit in Nigeria's capital Abuja March 23, 2011
Heads of state and members of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) pose for a photograph after attending the 39th ECOWAS Summit in Nigeria's capital Abuja March 23, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • University of Abuja Professor Kabiru Mato spoke with Butty

James Butty

A Nigerian university professor says West African leaders should not abdicate their responsibility on the situation in Ivory Coast.

This comes as Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday called on the United Nations to take what he called "serious steps" to help resolve the political crisis in Ivory Coast.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has previously threatened military action if Ivory Coast's incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, does not relinquish power to the internationally-recognized winner of last November’s run-off election, Alassane Ouattara.

At an ECOWAS summit Wednesday, Jonathan reportedly said he wants the regional bloc to pass a resolution asking the United Nations to do more.

Professor Kabiru Mato, chair of the political science department at the University of Abuja, says Jonathan’s comments could be an indication of a lack of consensus in carrying out the regional bloc’s earlier threat to use “legitimate force” to end the crisis in Ivory Coast.

“I think the call clearly shows that either the organization [ECOWAS] is unable to really do its work by using limited force to take Gbagbo out of office or, on the other hand, it still feels the need to perhaps expand the horizon by involving the United Nations organization in ensuring that a more peaceful methodology is adopted in the transition of power in Cote d’Ivoire. So, the call by President Jonathan exposes, in my view, the inherent weaknesses of ECOWAS on one hand and, on the other hand, the failure of African leaders to assert their authority at a very crucial moment in our history today,” he says.

Mato says by his appeal to the United Nations, Jonathan might have failed to use his country’s influence to force a solution to the crisis.

“I think, in some instances, it can be interpreted as a manifestation of failure on the part of the kind of leadership that Nigeria ought to play in this. To some extent, one would say the leadership in Nigeria has been unable to convincingly put the issue straightforward to the presidents of both Ghana and Liberia and whichever country, for that matter, is opposed to military action in Ivory Coast,” Mato says.

He says Nigeria’s coming April 1 parliamentary, gubernatorial and presidential elections, where Jonathan is seeking reelection, could also be key factor in Nigeria’s hesitance to move the Ivory Coast crisis to a resolution.

“The current political climate within Nigeria could be a fundamental factor as to why President Jonathan perhaps might not want to deploy troops and materials to fight the battle in Ivory Coast. If he deploys troops now, it would be another political minus on his part because it would require also the deployment of tremendous resources, and what have now is that the Nigerian government is broke,” Mato says.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid