World News Brief, Wednesday April 6

Cote D'Ivoire strongman on verge of surrender although violence continues (+ analysis); Japan faces rebuild on scale with 1945; Libyan diplomats offer elections, but stand by Qaddafi; Karzai orders investigation into protests he fanned; UN plane crashes killing 32; and more

Top of the Agenda: Violent Standoff in Ivory Coast

Fighters loyal to Ivory Coast President-elect Alassane Ouattara began another offensive on Monday, moving on central Abidjan (WSJ), while UN and French forces jointly attacked positions held by strongman Laurent Gbagbo. UN officials claimed the armed forces of disputed incumbent president Gbagbo were attacking civilians and peacekeeping personnel. The BBC reports that Ouattara's forces have surrounded Gbagbo's compound (BBC), and that he remains bunkered with his family. Gbagbo has refused to leave office even though the Ivorian election commission declared him the loser of November's run-off vote, and the UN certified the result. Gbagbo's soldiers proposed a ceasefire (al-Jazeera) in the face of the overwhelming offensive, though gunfire could still be heard around the presidential residence. Diplomats appointed by Ouattara claim that Gbagbo is in the process of negotiating a surrender. French military officials (Reuters) say they will intervene in Ivory Coast only as long as the UN asks for their contribution.


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

This editorial from the Guardian argues that responsibility to protect loomed large in the debate about intervening in Libya, but was curiously absent from Ivory Coast.


PACIFIC RIM: Japan Faces Major Reconstruction

The scale of destruction to Japan's economy from the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear crisis is becoming apparent, with some communities facing a reconstruction effort (Asahi) comparable to that following World War II.

China: Britain, the United States, and the EU have joined the international outcry over the detention of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (Guardian) and the renewed crackdown on Chinese dissidents and activists.



- Libyan Diplomats Stand Behind Qaddafi
- Karzai Orders Probe of Quran Protests
- UN Plane Crashes in DR Congo


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