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Warning Of Genocide In Ivory Coast

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His country is on the brink of “genocide,” Ivory Coast’s new ambassador to the United Nations has warned.

And NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports that the ambassador says homes are being marked in Ivory Coast according to the ethnic origin of their residents -- a classic tactic at times when factions are lining up to take revenge on each other:

The Associated Press writes that “the United Nations [has] accused incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo’s security forces of blocking access to mass graves, saying investigators believe as many as 80 bodies may be in one building that U.N. personnel are being kept from entering. Gbagbo’s government has repeatedly denied that such graves exist, and the interior minister has gone on state television to dismiss the allegations that arose after the disputed presidential runoff vote.”

And the AP adds this ominous development:

“Meanwhile, a fiery member of Gbagbo’s Cabinet urged supporters to seize a hotel where the internationally recognized winner of last month’s election has been organizing a shadow government under U.N. protection. “Charles Ble Goude was quoted by a pro-Gbagbo newspaper Thursday as saying that Alassane Ouattara, whom the United Nations declared the winner of the Nov. 28 vote, and his prime minister ‘have until January 1, 2011 to pack their bags and leave the Golf Hotel.’ ”

The U.S. is readying plans to evacuate its embassy in Abidjan.

Ivory Coast is on Foreign Policy magazine’s list of “16 brewing conflicts to watch for in 2011.” Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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