News / Africa

Fighting Reported Near Liberian Border as AU Seeks Joint Meeting

A relative stands in the looted home of Francois Konan Bany. Witnesses say dozens of armed militant youth loyal to Laurent Gbgabo tied up security guards, ransacked the home, and carried away everything of value, including kitchen appliances and air-condi
A relative stands in the looted home of Francois Konan Bany. Witnesses say dozens of armed militant youth loyal to Laurent Gbgabo tied up security guards, ransacked the home, and carried away everything of value, including kitchen appliances and air-condi

Rebels fighting Ivory Coast's incumbent president say they have captured another key town on one of the main roads to Liberia. The fighting comes as African Union heads of state try to arrange a face-to-face meeting between Ivory Coast's rival presidents.

Rebels opposed to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo say they have captured the town of Toulepleu, which is less than 10 kilometers from the Liberian border. Gbagbo government troops say they are responding with heavy weapons in a campaign to stop the rebels from moving farther south through what was previously a buffer zone between the forces.

The breakdown of a six-year-old ceasefire follows increasing violence in the political capital, Abidjan, where Gbagbo militants are setting up checkpoints to block the movement of U.N. peacekeepers. Gbagbo supporters say those peacekeepers are helping rebels who back the U.N.-certified winner of November's presidential election, former prime minister Alassane Ouattara.

Patrice Adou, a member of the Gbagbo party's "Young Patriots," says Gbagbo supporters do not want to see the United Nations anymore because those peacekeepers are attacking, rather than helping Ivorians. So people are setting up roadblocks to stop them.

The U.N. mission in Ivory Coast says it is protecting the free movement of civilians and warns that Gbagbo militants who attack peacekeepers could be guilty of war crimes.

African Union heads of state are inviting both Gbagbo and Ouattara to talks in Ethiopia Thursday. Ouattara says he will go. Gbagbo has not yet responded.

The presidents of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, South Africa, and Tanzania have until the end of March to try and resolve the stalemate.

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group says the African Union needs to take a tougher stand against Gbagbo, whose claim to the presidency is based on a constitutional council of his allies annulling as fraudulent nearly ten percent of all ballots cast.

"We've asked the African Union Peace and Security Council to adopt individual sanctions targeting individuals associated with Gbagbo's illegitimate regime and to fully support the initial ECOWAS decision in its communique last year," said Comfort Ero, Africa program director of the International Crisis Group.

ECOWAS is the West African regional alliance that recognizes Ouattara as the duly- elected leader and is threatening to use military force to remove Gbagbo.

"We have also asked that ECOWAS revisit its earlier decision on sending a military mission to help create a safe environment to put an immediate stop to the conflict and the idea of blocking maritime access to Abidjan and the port of San Pedro as well," said Ero.

Regional and international sanctions against Gbagbo's government are dragging down the economy. There is a shortage of cooking gas and no exports of cocoa from the world's biggest grower. Gbagbo has managed to pay most of his soldiers and civil servants for February despite being cut off from the regional central bank.

You May Like

Elusive Deal With Iran Could Yield Foreign Policy Legacy for Obama

A new Iranian leader -- and a strategic shift by the United States -- opens narrow window for nuclear agreement with Tehran More

Column: Saudi-Iran Meeting Could Boost Fight Against Islamic State

The fact that Iranians and Saudis are talking again does not guarantee a breakthrough, but it could make it easier to build a broad coalition against IS More

Thai Ruler Gives Top Cabinet Posts to Junta Inner Circle

Thailand's army chief has kept an iron grip on power as he extends the government, hand-picking an interim parliament that subsequently nominated him prime minister 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid