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Regime change

UN Security Council Resolution 1975 on Ivory Coast (30 March 2011)

Date of publication: 30/03/2011

The significance of this UN resolution, which was the prelude to military intervention by French forces in Abidjan who successfully ousted President Laurent Gbagbo from office, is that it explicitly calls for regime change in paragraph 3 and does so invoking "Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations", i.e. the part of the charter which allows the Council to take measures to ensure international peace and security.

It is obvious that such a resolution is legally flawed.  It is not sufficient to invoke "Chapter VII" because that is a long chapter with several paragraphs and clauses.  For a decision to be properly grounded in law, the specific clause or paragraph should be invoked.

By the same token, it was irresponsible of the Security Council simply to "determine" that the situation in Côte d'Ivoire constituted a threat to international peace and security.  It is absolutely not clear why a disputed election in a small African state should constitute such a threat.  On the contrary, it is clear that the Council played fast and loose with the Charter and invoked bogus justifications for intervening in what are, self-evidently, the internal affairs of a state.

The full text of the resolution can be read on the UN web site.

Centre for the Study of Interventionism