News / Africa

African Union Mediator Says No Power Sharing Deal in Ivory Coast

United Nations troops from Niger drive past a billboard of Ivory Coast's internationally recognized elected leader Alassane Ouattara during a patrol in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011.
United Nations troops from Niger drive past a billboard of Ivory Coast's internationally recognized elected leader Alassane Ouattara during a patrol in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011.

The African Union mediator to Ivory Coast's political crisis says the incumbent president's decision to accept negotiations does not include the option of a power sharing government. African officials insist he must yield power.

The Economic Community of West African States says Ivory Coast's incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo has agreed to further talks without preconditions and will lift his blockade of the hotel where Alassane Ouattara has been living since the electoral commission named him the winner of November's vote.

Mr. Gbagbo agreeing to those negotiations does not change West African demands that he ultimately give up power. And the African Union mediator to this crisis, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, says he has made clear to Mr. Gbagbo that there will be no power sharing deal.

"When people lose elections, they want to take to power in the hopes that they can negotiate a kind of power-sharing arrangement with their opponent. And I did tell him that that option is not available here," he said.

Mr. Odinga took part in a power-sharing deal in Kenya to end post-election violence. He says the legacy of that deal, and a similar deal in Zimbabwe, has not been positive. "We do not want to see a perpetuation of this experiment. It is not a way of advancing [the] African democratization process. People go to elections so there can be winners and losers. And losers must accept the verdict of the people," he said.

Mr. Gbagbo insists he won the election because Ivory Coast's constitutional counsel annulled as fraudulent nearly ten percent of all ballots cast. The United Nations certified results that show Mr. Ouattara winning the vote - an outcome that is endorsed by West African leaders, the African Union, the European Union, and the United States.

Mr. Gbagbo has been using state-run television to portray near-unanimous international support for Mr. Ouattara as evidence of a plot against the Gbagbo government.

Mr. Odinga says he believes Mr. Gbagbo now sees that his options are limited. "Both men realize of course that they are negotiating from different positions. Mr. Gbagbo realized that grandstanding will not do at this moment in time. So progress has been made and we are sure that we are going to be able to close the gap between the two camps," he said.

West African leaders are still threatening to use military force to oust Mr. Gbagbo if talks fail. But he is backed by the national army, so a fight for control of Abidjan would be costly.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid