News / Africa

African Leaders Seek Resolution to Ivory Coast Political Crisis

Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga (l) Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma, center, and Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo (r) pose for photographers at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Jan 3, 2011
Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga (l) Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma, center, and Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo (r) pose for photographers at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Jan 3, 2011

African leaders are in Abidjan for more talks with Ivory Coast's rival presidents. The country's political crisis has sent thousands of refugees into Liberia. Leaders met with defiant Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo Monday, offering him an amnesty deal on condition he cedes power to rival Alassane Ouattara.

The African Union and the Economic Community of West African States have recognized former prime minister Alassane Ouattara as the newly-elected president of Ivory Coast. So the focus of the groups' joint mission to Abidjan is the man who stands in Ouattara's way - incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo.

Gbagbo says he intends to remain in power and accuses foreign governments of plotting a coup against him. Dim prospects for resolving the dispute are evident in the two sides failing to agree even on what their talks are about.

West African leaders say they are in Abidjan to press their demands that Gbagbo step down. A spokesman for Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma, who is among the heads of state representing the West African alliance, said Gbagbo's exit is non-negotiable.

Gbagbo's aides say this meeting is all about negotiation. Ambassador Yao Gnamien, a special advisor to Gbagbo, said, "They are not coming to negotiate the departure of President Gbagbo. They are coming to Cote D'Ivoire just for a process of negotiations so that we can find a peaceful solution to the crisis."

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said West African leaders will decide what to do next, following Monday's talks that also include the African Union mediator to the crisis, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The West African alliance said it is considering military force to remove Gbagbo, but he is still backed by Ivory Coast's military, so a battle for control of Abidjan would be costly.  Gbagbo said Ouattara should not expect foreign troops to help him and is calling for the departure of U.N. peacekeepers, who are guarding Ouattara's hotel.

Ouattara said Gbagbo militants are killing his supporters, and he wants the International Criminal Court to investigate. The United Nations estimates that more than 170 people have been killed in post-election violence.

The crisis has sent more than 20,000 Ivorian refugees into Liberia.

Malek Triki works for the World Food Program in West Africa. He said, "Many of them have come without any food, without any assets at all, and those who have some assets like goats, for example, they would sell them below market price just to be able to buy food and water. And some of them had during the first few days, had even to go back to Ivory Coast in search of food and water."

Relief officials expect as many as 450,000 people may be internally displaced and 150,000 people may eventually seek refuge in Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Ghana.  


You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid