W.African states ‘will oust Gbagbo if talks fail’
West African regional military chiefs have set in motion plans to oust Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo if negotiations fail, a Nigerian defence spokesman said on Friday.
The decision was reached at a meeting in Abuja of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) attended by military chiefs from Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Togo, Niger and Nigeria.
“The committee of chiefs of defence staff met on Tuesday and Wednesday to put machinery in motion that if all political persuasions fail… ECOWAS will forcefully take over power from Laurent Gbagbo and hand over to Alassane Ouattara,” Colonel Mohamed Yerimah told AFP.
“This is the last resort but hopefully Gbagbo will be persuaded to handover power politically without military cohesion,” he said.
A follow-up meeting to fine-tune the logistics is scheduled for Mali on January 17 and 18, he said.