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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid