Ivory Coast Leader AWOL

From a summit convened by Nigeria on the trouble in Ivory Coast, that is.

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – Nigeria convened an African summit on Ivory Coast’s crisis on Sunday without the leader of the embattled nation, who remained holed up in his mansion, increasingly surrounded by hard-liners.

Ivory Coast said it was instead sending its National Assembly president, Mamadou Koulibaly, to an emergency summit called by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

“The country is in crisis. He prefers to be here, to be ready for any eventuality,” spokesman Desire Tagro said of Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo.

Wow. Imagine the Pres wanting to remain in-country while his nation is in turmoil. Would any of us be real with W if he say, went to a summit in Japan about the devisiveness between the GOP and Demorat people which included air assualt and mob violence? Nope. But Messr Jacques Chirac lashed out on Sunday at Ivory Coast’s leaders, criticizing a “questionable regime” and the recent anti-Western violence. He said France had no intention of withdrawing its peacekeepers from the country, which he said could degenerate into “anarchy.” Yeah. That ought to motivate the IC leaders to show up. Peacekeepers. Perhaps much of the violence is because of the "peacekeepers."

There seems to be fear of the "peacekeepers" in the IC:

Fearing an overthrow attempt by France, a pro-government youth militia behind five days of anti-foreigner looting and attacks in Ivory Coast has vowed to keep a constant vigil around Gbagbo’s residence.

And from the AP:

Gbagbo told French radio he would buy new warplanes to replace those the French forces destroyed, which included two Sukhoi-25 fighter jets and several attack helicopters.

"Do you think I am going to leave my country with no air defense?" Gbagbo said in comments recorded on Saturday but broadcast on Sunday.

"If the French army destroys them, we’ll buy more for a third time," he said.

Here is a novel idea. Why not try and bring the leaders of the the IC and the rebels together, rather then having a yap yap summit in Nigeria. Having French Peacekeepers in the IC can be a good thing, so that the country doesn’t degenerate into civil war, but they do not seem to be doing much except generating hatred.

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