Nigeria condemns world focus on Libya over I.Coast

Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:47pm GMT

* Contradiction in western actions over Libya, Ivory Coast

* Ivory Coast sliding towards civil war

* West African bloc ECOWAS to meet in Nigeria this week

By Joe Brock

ABUJA, March 22 (Reuters) - Nigeria's foreign minister has accused the international community of double standards by imposing a no-fly zone to protect civilians in Libya while doing little to end abuses in crisis-torn Ivory Coast.

Nigeria is the linchpin of West African bloc ECOWAS, which has threatened the use of force in Ivory Coast to push incumbent Laurent Gbagbo from power after he refused to accept defeat in an election the United Nations said rival Alassane Ouattara won.

Around 400 Ivorians have died and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes since the disputed poll. Thousands of youth supporters of Gbagbo answered a call to join the army this week, adding fuel to fear that the violent power struggle risks sending the country back to civil war.

Western powers, led by the U.S., have in recent days launched air strikes and enforced a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians as the country's leader Muammar Gaddafi fights a civil war against rebels trying to oust him from power.   Continued...

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