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Kofi Nsia-Pepra presents paper at International Studies Conference

Kofi Nsia-Pepra, assistant professor of political science, presented a paper,  “Legal Analysis of ECOMOG’s Legitimacy to Forcefully Intervene in Ivory Coast to Restore Democracy,” Nov. 2 at the International Studies Association Midwest Conference, held in St. Louis, Mo.

Nsia-Pepra explains, the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) threat to forcefully intervene to restore democracy in Ivory Coast if incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo persistently refused to cede power to popularly elected Alassane Dramane Ouattara was criticized by critics as illegitimate. Critics questioned ECOWAS’ legitimacy to use force in restoring democracy in member countries especially in the absence of such security provisions in ECOWAS’ founding Treaty.

“This paper presents a critical legal analysis of ECOWAS’ legitimacy to forcefully intervene and restore democracy in Ivory Coast," he said. "The paper argues that despite the absence of  a formal legal  security instrument,  ECOWAS’  action would be legitimate due to the following:  its globally  supported historic  precedence in Sierra Leone and Liberia,  collective self-defense, emerging  norm of  'Responsibility to Protect' and  humanitarian intervention, state practice of democratic intervention and global  condemnation of Gbagbo’s  recalcitrance  and support for the popularly elected  Ouattara."