World Week Ahead: Ivory Coast Standoff; Haiti’s Next President

BY Larisa Epatko  April 4, 2011 at 9:43 AM EDT


Forces supporting Alassane Ouattara in Ivory Coast. (AFP/Getty Images)

Tensions remain high in Ivory Coast, where the incumbent president refuses to give way to his successor, while Haiti is poised to learn who its next president will be when much-anticipated preliminary results are released Monday.

Ivory Coast | The standoff in Ivory Coast, also known by its French name Cote d’Ivoire, continues between forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to cede power, and supporters of Alassane Ouattara, who was elected president in November.

Doctors Without Borders reported that although major fighting between the two groups has subsided, sporadic violence still flares and people with gunshot or machete wounds continue to seek treatment in hospitals in western towns.

In a statement issued over the weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Gbagbo to step down and for Ouattara to stop attacking civilians.

Gbagbo is pushing Cote d’Ivoire into lawlessness. The path forward is clear. He must leave now so the conflict may end,” she said. “We also call on the forces of President Ouattara to respect the rules of war and stop attacks on civilians.

Read: Clinton’s full statement on the State Department Web site.

Read: CNN explains the roots of the conflict in Ivory Coast.

Meanwhile, chocolatiers say the violence in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest supplier of cocoa, is raising chocolate production costs, which will translate into higher prices on the shelves in a few weeks.

Haiti | On Monday, Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council plans to release preliminary results from the March 20 presidential runoff between pop singer Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly, 50, and academic Mirlande Manigat, 70. The results were delayed due to higher voter turnout and fraud, reported the Wall Street Journal.

We’re also keeping an eye on the following for developments:

Libya | Rebels continue to advance in Libya, only to be beaten back by Moammar Gadhafi’s fighters. In a change in tactics, Gadhafi forces are moving around in pickup trucks to try to resemble rebels, making NATO airstrikes more difficult.

Watch: The Associated Press reports on coalition airstrikes accidentally killing 13 rebels:

Japan | As workers try to keep radioactive water from spewing into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex, Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said the cleanup and control of the complex could take several more months, reported the Associated Press.

Afghanistan | Twenty-four people have died in protests in Afghanistan that continued over the weekend over the burning of a Quran in Florida. President Obama was among U.S. officials who decried both actions:

“The desecration of any holy text, including the Quran, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry. However, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity,” the president said in a statement Saturday.

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