News / Africa

African Union Panel Prepares for Ivory Coast Mediation

Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo, left, talks with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, an African Union envoy sent to mediate the ongoing Ivorian political standoff, following a meeting at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, (January  17,
Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo, left, talks with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, an African Union envoy sent to mediate the ongoing Ivorian political standoff, following a meeting at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, (January 17,

The leaders of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, South Africa, and Tanzania meet in Nouakchott, Mauritania to hear from African Union officials about the stalemate between Ivory Coast's incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo and the United-Nations-certified winner of November's vote, former prime minister Alassane Ouattara.

The five heads of state are due to travel to Ivory Coast Monday to meet with the rivals. Mr. Gbagbo's claim to re-election is based on the constitutional council annulling as fraudulent, nearly 10 percent of all ballots cast. Mr. Ouattara's claim to the presidency is based on results released by the electoral commission and certified by the United Nations.

Mr. Gbagbo's government says it will accept the African Union mediation so long as it does not challenge the constitutional council declaration that Mr. Gbagbo won. Mr. Ouattara's prime minister says Ivorians should not expect anything from the African Union and should instead rise up in an Egyptian-style revolt.

Cooperation encouraged

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says all Ivorians should fully cooperate with an African Union panel that he says is of great importance. Martin Nesirky is his spokesman.

"The Secretary-General is concerned about the continuing violence and the planned demonstrations which could increase tensions and undermine the prospects for an early and peaceful end to the crisis," Nesirky said. "He calls for an immediate end to the acts of violence against the civilian population and for restraint in the planned demonstrations. He also calls for an end to the obstruction of the operations of the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire [UNOCI], and the removal of the siege on the Golf Hotel."

Mr. Gbagbo's government has previously said it will not lift its siege of Mr. Ouattara's hotel because there are several hundred former rebels there who cannot be allowed to move freely.

Money & politics


International and regional sanctions against the Gbagbo government have led to the near-collapse of Ivory Coast's financial system with five international banks closing this week.

Jules Camara stood outside a bank hoping to withdraw as much money as he could.

Camara says the situation is making everyone nervous because banks closed with all the money everyone had in the banks. When you look at the line of people, he says, you do not know who is from the Ouattara party or the Gbagbo party. Camara says the best solution is not to involve the banking sector with politics.

Politics is what drove those banks to close after the West African central bank threatened to penalize commercial banks that continued to do business in Ivory Coast after the central bank severed Mr. Gbagbo's access to state funds.

Mr. Gbagbo's government says it will now take complete control of the capital of closed branches of Citibank, Societe Generale, and BNP Paribas. Standard Chartered bank and the Nigerian Access Bank have also closed along with the Ivorian-owned International Bank for West Africa and Banque Atlantique.

Nationalizing banks is the latest sign of Ivory Coast's deteriorating economy with a shortage of cooking gas, cocoa exports blocked and the Abidjan-based regional stock exchange suspended. Because of the breakdown in the banking system, Ivory Coast's national airline has suspended all flights until the middle of next week.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.

All About America

AppleAndroid