News / Africa

African Union Reinstates Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara (R) shakes hands with General Philippe Mangou, chief of staff of former pro-Laurent Gbagbo Defense and Security Forces (FDS), at the Hotel du Golf in Abidjan, April 12, 2011 (file photo)
Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara (R) shakes hands with General Philippe Mangou, chief of staff of former pro-Laurent Gbagbo Defense and Security Forces (FDS), at the Hotel du Golf in Abidjan, April 12, 2011 (file photo)

The African Union has reinstated Ivory Coast as a member in good standing, lifting the suspension imposed after former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept defeat in last November's presidential election. The AU Peace and Security Council also heard a troubling report on political developments in Somalia.

The Peace and Security Council chairman for April, Ambassador Joseph Nsengimana, said all sanctions imposed against Ivory Coast are lifted in view of President Alassane Ouattara’s assumption of power.

"In the communiqué we made on December, 2010, it was said that until the president-elect is not assuming the real power, we decided the suspension of [Ivory Coast]. Now President Ouattara is assuming power so we lifted the suspension," Nsengimana said.

Ivory Coast’s reinstatement means the Peace and Security Council is back to its full strength of 15.

Next focus: Libya, Somalia

Another council member, Libya, will be on the agenda next week, but a council spokesman said there is no move to suspend Libya’s membership. The meeting will hear a status report on efforts to negotiate a political solution to the conflict in Libya.

Participants at Thursday’s session also heard good news and bad news about efforts to establish stability in Somalia after 20 years as a failed state.

Nsengimana, who also is Rwanda’s AU ambassador, said the good news is that pro-government forces have taken firm control of 60% of the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Until recently, government control was limited to a few kilometers around the presidential palace.

Nsengimana said 80% of Mogadishu's population is living in the part of the city secured by the 8,000-person AU peacekeeping force known as AMISOM.

The bad news is that the military gains are being threatened by feuding between the country’s transitional government and parliament, which recently took unilateral action to extend its mandate for three more years. Nsengimana called parliament’s action "regrettable”"

"The situation in Somalia is not good, not at all. On the political side there is no cooperation between the two main institutions, the government and the parliament. We regret that the parliament took a decision to extend its mandate for three years without consulting any other shareholders," said Nsengimana.

Criticism of UN

An AU Commission report presented to Thursday’s meeting criticizes the United Nations for failing to respond to the Council’s request for a no-fly zone and naval blockade on Somalia. The measures would be aimed at preventing foreign fighters and weapons from reaching the al-Qaida-linked rebel group al-Shabab, which continues to control much of southern and central Somalia.

The report expresses grave concern about al-Shabab’s refusal to allow adequate access by humanitarian aid agencies as drought sweeps over the region. An estimated 50,000 people have been displaced since the drought set in last December, and long-range weather forecasts predict lower than normal rains over the next few months.

You May Like

Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurd President Urges World Community to Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


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