President Obama could have another international crisis on his hands before he even returns home from his holiday vacation in Hawaii.
As the president wraps up his time off with family, tensions are escalating in the West African nation of Ivory Coast, where the incumbent president is refusing to step aside in the face of pressure from international organizations which have recognized his political opponent as the winner of the last election.
Rival Alassane Ouattara had given sitting President Laurent Gbagbo until Jan. 1 to release his grip on power. But with neither side budging, officials in the country have warned about the danger of violence spinning out of control. The U.N. has already confirmed at least 173 deaths in connection with the election. One official said this past week the country is on the “brink of genocide.” Another described the impasse Friday as a “civil war situation.”