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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs