World News Brief, Thursday April 7

Ouattara soldiers raid presidential compound, Gbagbo negotiates with UN; Did the West fail Cote D'Ivoire?; White House warns no "clear path" to Af-Pak victory; Republicans "moving the goalposts" in US Budget standoff; International pressure demands change in Yemen; and more

Top of the Agenda: Forces Raid Gbagbo Residence

Soldiers supporting Ivory Coast's internationally recognized leader Alassane Ouattara raided the presidential residence of rival and disputed incumbent Laurent Gbagbo (BBC) in the city of Abidjan. According to reports, Gbagbo began negotiating his surrender with the UN from a bunker in his home after being besieged by Ouattara forces for two days. However, it remains unclear whether he has backtracked on this decision (CNN). Ouattara's forces are appealing directly to Gbagbo's fighters to lay down their weapons. Reuters reports that Ouattara's men have entered Gbagbo's compound (al-Jazeera), but have yet to capture him. A spokesman for Ouattara said that orders were given to keep Gbagbo alive so that he can be brought to justice.

The conflict reached critical mass on Monday when French President Nicolas Sarkozy authorized the use of French aircraft (WSJ) in the UN operation, following a request from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for help. French helicopter strikes destroyed military barracks, armored vehicles, and anti-aircraft weaponry. The New York Times reports that France (NYT) is involved in three shooting wars at once for the first time in its history.


In the New Republic, Simon Akam discusses how the West failed to take action in the Ivory Coast, comparing that decision to the one that led to military intervention in Libya.

Conflict in Ivory Coast appears to be nearing a head, with Ouattara poised to triumph. But CFR's Jendayi Frazer notes that the UN Security Council's inaction was "hypocrisy," particularly in light of its stance on Libya.

This editorial for Japan Times discusses an end game for the Ivory Coast conflict and argues for increased international support after the violence is over.

On his blog Africa in Transition, CFR's John Campbell writes that Ouattara has a number of advantages in taking over the role of president, but he will need to reach out to Gbagbo's supporters to be truly successful.


This timeline from al-Jazeera provides the West African nation's key events from its 1960 independence until the disputed 2010 vote.


PACIFIC RIM: Nitrogen to Be Injected at Fukushima

As a precautionary measure, Japanese engineers are preparing to inject nitrogen into the containment vessel of reactor No. 1 at the Fukushima nuclear plant (NYT). The move aims to prevent rising amounts of hydrogen from exploding, though authorities claim it does not pose an immediate threat.

Philippines: A report from the Asian Development Bank (AP) said economic growth for the region is expected to settle just under 8 percent for the next two years, continuing a path of recovery. The numbers include growth for forty-five developing or newly industrializing Asian economies, excluding Japan.

In this op-ed for the Business Standard, CFR's Evan Feigenbaum discusses the reintegration of Asian economies and how the United States can remain relevant there.



- International Pressure Mounts on Yemen
- White House Highlights Af-Pak Concerns
- Scarce Progress in Budget Standoff


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on