Ivory Coast's Ouattara calls for UN intervention

AP News
Posted: Mar 22, 2011 5:42 AM

Ivory Coast's internationally recognized president is calling for the United Nations to authorize the use of "legitimate force" to protect civilians after a mortar attack last week killed at least 25 people.

Alassane Ouattara on Monday accused the U.N. of being too passive in protecting civilians amid an increasingly violent political crisis. He called for a rapid intervention force, permanent checkpoints in strategic parts of the city and the destruction of the arsenal held by incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to cede power.

The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast numbers some 10,000 soldiers and says it carried out 841 ground and air patrols last week. 435 people have died since the crisis began and nearly 400,000 have fled the fighting.

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