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Sen. Barack Obama with Raila Odinga

The Ivory Coast is on the verge of civil war over an attempt by a Muslim to unseat a Christian president who was ruled the election winner by a constitutional council after it determined there was vote-rigging in the Muslim-dominated regions of the African nation, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Now a compatriot of Barack Obama, who the then-senator stumped for during his own 2007 campaign in nearby Kenya, is stepping in to hold talks that are aimed at removing the Christian president from office – and possibly even the country.

At issue is the election positioning incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, a Christian, against Muslim challenger Alassane Quattara, who insists he won the election.

Now Quattara, a former top official of the International Monetary Fund, has obtained the backing of the United Nations Security Council, the United States and the African Union in his attempt to push Gbagbo out.

Gbagbo, an openly practicing Christian, has his major backing from the southern Ivory Coast, while Quattara, a Muslim, has his main support from the Islamic-dominated northern part of the country.

Three presidents of the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, are to visit Gbagbo and urge him to leave power and give way to Quattara, possibly suggesting Gbagbo even leave the nation. They will be joined by African Union envoy and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

While they want him to leave and respect the outcome of the elections, they say there is nothing to negotiate with Gbagbo.

Officials did not rule out the possibility that the ECOWAS would use force to remove Gbagbo if he refused to leave office.

In early December, the electoral commission declared Quatara the winner, with 54 percent of the vote to Gbagbo’s 46 percent. But Gbagbo claimed mass vote-rigging in four regions had invalidated results in much of the rebel-held north.

The constitutional council, which is headed by Paul Yao N’Dre, a loyal Gbagbo ally, upheld the vote-rigging argument and declared Gbagbo the winner with 51 percent of the vote.

It was Obama who barnstormed on behalf of Raila Odinga, the socialist who hails from the same tribal heritage, the Luo, as Obama, when Odinga was seeking the presidency in Kenya.

Appearing with Odinga at campaign stops, Obama gave speeches accusing the sitting Kenyan president of being corrupt and oppressive.

Then on Aug. 29, 2007, Raila Odinga signed a secret Memorandum of Understanding with Muslim Sheikh Abdullah Abdi, the chief of the National Muslim Leaders Forum of Kenya. In exchange for Muslim support, Odinga promised to rewrite the Kenyan constitution to install Shariah as law in “Muslim declared regions,” elevate Islam as “the only true religion” and give Islamic leaders “oversight” over other religions, establish Shariah courts and ban Christian proselytism.

Even with strong Muslim backing, Odinga was beaten in the December 2007 elections. He then accused the incumbent president of rigging the vote and allegedly incited his supporters to riot. Over the next month, some 1,500 Kenyans were killed and more than 500,000 displaced – with most of the violence led by Muslims, who set churches ablaze and hacked Christians to death with machetes.

During this time, Odinga regularly was in communications with Obama.

Odinga eventually ended up as prime minister in Kenya through a power-sharing arrangement that was installed in an effort to appease those who were rioting.

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