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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs