BREAKING: U.K, Nigeria, Mali, Ghana, Niger and other West Africa countries "Ready for war" against Cote D´Ivoire Gbago
Plan to force out Gbagbo 'ready' West African military chiefs agree on "last resort" plan to forcefully remove defiant Cote d'Ivoire leader from power.
West African regional military chiefs have prepared plans to "forcefully take over power" from Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent Cote d'Ivoire president, should eleventh hour diplomatic efforts to persuade him to step down fail, a Nigerian defence spokesman said on Friday.
The plan was established during meetings of military chiefs from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, earlier this week. "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 the AFP news agency.
Yerimah said the military option was a "last resort", and that "hopefully Gbagbo will be persuaded to hand over power politically". The meetings were attended by military chiefs from Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Togo, Niger and Nigeria.
The UN General Assembly last week recognised Ouattara as the winner of a disputed November 28 presidential run-off poll. However, Gbagbo has also claimed victory and remains in control of key state institutions, including the army and the media.