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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora