News / Africa

Incumbent Ivory Coast Government says Economic Sanctions Will Fail

Ivory Coast's incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo (Dec 2010 file photo)
Ivory Coast's incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo (Dec 2010 file photo)

Ivory Coast's incumbent government says it is not intimidated by economic sanctions meant to force it from power.  The internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast's presidential vote believes those sanctions will eventually contribute to the incumbent government's collapse.

The European Union is increasing economic pressure on incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo by freezing the assets of Ivory Coast's main cocoa-ports, its state oil firm, its main energy utility, its national broadcaster, and three banks.

European leaders say those firms help to fund what they call Gbabgo's illegitimate government.  In a written statement, the European Union says state-run television is guilty of "public incitement to hatred and violence" through a campaign of disinformation about November's presidential election.

The European Union, the United Nations, the African Union, and the United States all say former prime minister Alassane Ouattara won that vote.  But Mr. Gbagbo is refusing to give up power, saying he won re-election because his allies on the country's constitutional counsel annulled enough Ouattara votes to put Gbagbo ahead.

The European Union action against Gbagbo follows a U.S. Treasury freeze of his assets and a ban on Americans doing business with his government.  West Africa's central bank says it is blocking Gbagbo's access to Ivorian assets, giving that power instead to Ouattara.

Gbagbo spokesman Ahoua Don Mello says the international community is mistaken if it believes sanctions will weaken Gbagbo's hold on power.

Mello says Western leaders often make this mistake.  The world today does not stop at Europe or America.  He says Ivorians can go anywhere in Africa, South America or Asia to get what they need.  So if Europe and the United States no longer want Ivory Coast, Mello says  those countries will lose because Ivorians can shop elsewhere, but the world must come to Ivory Coast for its cocoa.

Mello says the central bank action against Gbagbo will only hurt the regional economy.

Mello says Ivory Coast put its money in the central bank, so no one can stop the government from using its own resources.  He says the central bank needs Ivorian revenue, so if it excludes Ivory Coast, Mello says the bank will obviously fail.

But the bank is not excluding Ivory Coast, just Gbabgo.  Eight countries use the West African CFA Franc, whose value is pegged to the Euro.  That gives  the West Africa central bank stability, while Gbagbo's government can no longer float a government bond, for example, to raise revenue.

Ouattara supporters believe economic sanctions will eventually weaken Gbagbo's government. 

"I think Mr. Gbagbo will listen to the world," said Jean Marie Gervais, Ouattara's foreign minister. "And he will not have any possibility of using his own means.  He will see that the entire world is against what he is doing today.  We can not see it by now, but it is on, and I am sure he will not be able to stand the heat when the time comes."

Ouattara is moving to capitalize on near-unanimous international support by calling for foreign petroleum and cocoa companies in Ivory Coast to stop paying taxes.  It is a request with a costly threat.  Ouattara says he will make sure that any export taxes paid now to the Gbagbo government are paid a second time to an eventual Ouattara government.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, even music are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. Faith Lapidus narrates a report from VOA’s June Soh.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, even music are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. Faith Lapidus narrates a report from VOA’s June Soh.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid