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)
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid