UN chief Ban rejects call for Ivory Coast troop pullout

#1
UN chief Ban rejects call for Ivory Coast troop pullout

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has rejected a call for UN troops to leave Ivory Coast as tensions escalate after last month's presidential election.

Incumbent Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo had earlier demanded that all foreign peacekeepers leave the country.

His spokesperson accused UN and French troops of colluding with former rebels.

The UN and major powers have recognised Mr Gbagbo's rival, Alassane Ouattara, as the winner of the 28 November poll. Mr Gbagbo insists he has won.

Mr Ouattara is currently under UN protection at a hotel in Abidjan.

In a statement read out on national television on Saturday, government spokeswoman Jacqueline Oble said Mr Gbagbo had "requested the immediate departure of the Unoci [UN mission] and the French forces supporting it".

The UN force, she added, had "interfered seriously in the internal affairs of Ivory Coast".

Mr Ban responded with his own statement saying the UN mission "will fulfil its mandate and will continue to monitor and document any human rights violations, incitement to hatred and violence, or attacks on UN peacekeepers".

Earlier, the UN said one of its patrols had come under fire as it entered the mission compound in Abidjan, the country's main city.

Sanction threat

On Friday, opposition supporters were arrested in Grand Bassam, about 30km (20 miles) east of Abidjan, and there are reports of several people being killed there.

A day earlier at least 20 people were killed in clashes between Mr Ouattara's supporters and the security forces.

The UN Security Council has warned that all sides will be held accountable under international law for any attacks against civilians.

The United Nations, the US, former colonial power France, and the African Union have all called on Mr Gbagbo to stand down.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday said he should quit by Sunday or face EU sanctions.

But Mr Gbagbo says the election was rigged by rebels who still hold the north after the civil war in 2002-03.

Mr Gbagbo was declared the winner by the Constitutional Council after it annulled votes in parts of the north.

The BBC's John James, in Abidjan, says tensions have been building between Mr Gbagbo and the UN mission since it decided to recognise Mr Ouattara as the winner of the election.

A peace deal signed by all sides gave the UN a role in certifying the election results.
(BBC News - UN chief Ban rejects call for Ivory Coast troop pullout)

A UN chief with balls! Now this fellow deserves some respect. Saying no to weak kneed politicians averse to casualties it pretty rare for a UN chief. Finish the task and then leave, forget the sniping.
 
#2
Hear hear. Makes a pleasant change to have a UN leader who does not appease yet another African dictator.
 
#3
On the other hand, he's setting a precedent that the UN can act without the consent, and even in opposition to the will, of the host nation. How many would be happy to have that applied closer to home?
 
#4
On the other hand, he's setting a precedent that the UN can act without the consent, and even in opposition to the will, of the host nation. How many would be happy to have that applied closer to home?
Iraqis and Afghans are under that experience right this second, putting aside their so-called governments. Being a government with international recognition doesn't provide legitimacy in my view. Officially it does, but I wouldn't allow the Saudi thugs in Riyadh recognition if I had a say. Nor Mugabe nor China under the CCP and so on.
 
#5
Iraqis and Afghans are under that experience right this second, putting aside their so-called governments. Being a government with international recognition doesn't provide legitimacy in my view. Officially it does, but I wouldn't allow the Saudi thugs in Riyadh recognition if I had a say. Nor Mugabe nor China under the CCP and so on.
That's the only thing in international relations that does provide legitimacy. Mutual recognition is a cornerstone of the states-system.
 
#6
That's the only thing in international relations that does provide legitimacy. Mutual recognition is a cornerstone of the states-system.
Yes I know. Same with the law, generally speaking.

Not too long ago wars of aggression and even genocide were legal.........abit embarrassing, isn't it?
 
#7
Yes I know. Same with the law, generally speaking.

Not too long ago wars of aggression and even genocide were legal.........abit embarrassing, isn't it?
No, they weren't. As soon as a body of international law came into being, 'wars of aggression and even genocide' were declared unlawful. Prior to that there was no law governing the relations between states - so they could hardly have been 'legal', could they?
 
#8
No, they weren't. As soon as a body of international law came into being, 'wars of aggression and even genocide' were declared unlawful. Prior to that there was no law governing the relations between states - so they could hardly have been 'legal', could they?
International law didn't start all of a sudden in 1945. A new chapter did, more defined, etc. So yes, aggression and genocide was legal pre-1945. A fact even the prosecutors at the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials recognised, and that Axis power figures accurately deployed as justification for their crimes.
 
#9
International law didn't start all of a sudden in 1945. A new chapter did, more defined, etc. So yes, aggression and genocide was legal pre-1945. A fact even the prosecutors at the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials recognised, and that Axis power figures accurately deployed as justification for their crimes.
Show me the law that said, pre-1945, "You are allowed to invade another country for no good reason". That's what 'legal' means - sanctioned by law.
 
#10
Show me the law that said, pre-1945, "You are allowed to invade another country for no good reason". That's what 'legal' means - sanctioned by law.
You're saying tax evaders that exploit loopholes in tax law are criminals? Law specifically declaring something is legal isn't the only requirement for it to be legal. Not banning something makes acts legal.
 
#11
Is it just me - or is an unexpected "evacuate UK nationals and entitled persons" type operation looming?
 
#12
A law specifically designating something as legal is the requirement for it to be legal - by definition. Under the common law styles of the UK's systems, an act not specifically prohibited by statute or regulation is considered lawful, which is a different thing from legal entirely.

International law isn't solely based in UK common law, either. Our norms don't automatically apply, which is why I cautioned against turning cartwheels at the precedent being set here.
 
#13
On the other hand, he's setting a precedent that the UN can act without the consent, and even in opposition to the will, of the host nation. How many would be happy to have that applied closer to home?
Bit of a hollow argument IMO.

- Gbagbo and the opposition agreed to the UN being there to monitor elections.
- Opposition wins.
- Gbagbo's toys go out of the pram.

Leaving aside legalities, I believe it would be immoral for the UN to leave now - WTF do you think would happen to the opposition and their supporters if they did so?
 
#15
My friends Dad works in one of the big mining operations out there, they're still holed up under armed guard, no word on when or if they'll be evacuated.
 
#16
Can they wait ten years? SDSR said nothing like this would be needed....hmm.
 
#17
Bit of a hollow argument IMO.

- Gbagbo and the opposition agreed to the UN being there to monitor elections.
- Opposition wins.
- Gbagbo's toys go out of the pram.

Leaving aside legalities, I believe it would be immoral for the UN to leave now - WTF do you think would happen to the opposition and their supporters if they did so?
I'd expect the opposition to be slaughtered in the classic African fashion. I also expect that the UN will stay regardless. I'm just not entirely sanguine about the organisation establishing itself as having the right to stick two fingers up to the sitting government of a member state just because they're too weak to say 'no' effectively. First, they came for the trades unionists, etc.
 
#19
UK citizens probably ought to consider leaving. I guess if they're working for NGOs or the embassy staff, they'll stay. I hope we don't have another hostage crisis on our hands. We've seen how British governments have treated that time and again!
 
#20
I'd expect the opposition to be slaughtered in the classic African fashion. I also expect that the UN will stay regardless. I'm just not entirely sanguine about the organisation establishing itself as having the right to stick two fingers up to the sitting government of a member state just because they're too weak to say 'no' effectively. First, they came for the trades unionists, etc.
Trouble is the UN playing neutral when one side is in the wrong and tooled up has lead to all sorts of horror.
 

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