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

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.