News / Africa

Canada, Britain Reject Order to Remove Ivory Coast Ambassadors

Alasssane Ouattara (file photo)
Alasssane Ouattara (file photo)

Canada and Britain are rejecting the expulsion of their ambassadors by Ivory Coast's incumbent president, saying they recognize only the authority of his rival, the internationally-recognized winner of the country's presidential election.

Incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo's government says Canadian ambassador Marie Isabelle Massip and United Kingdom ambassador Nicholas James Westcott are no longer welcome in Ivory Coast.

In a proclamation read on state-run television, Gbagbo spokesman Ahoua Don Mello said the foreign minister rescinds their accreditation in accordance with principles of reciprocity concerning diplomatic relations as the Canadian and British governments no longer recognize Gbagbo emissaries.

But because those governments do not recognize Mr. Gbagbo's authority, they do not recognize his expulsion orders either.

London's Foreign Office says the British government does not accept the validity of statements made by anyone other than the winner of November's vote, former prime minister Alassane Ouattara.

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon says Ottawa does not recognize Mr. Gbagbo's claim to government, and as such, his request that Ambassador Massip leave is illegitimate.

Mr. Ouattara's government agrees the expulsion orders are without merit.

"The decision of Mr. Gbagbo is useless since he is not the official government," said Jean-Marie Kacou Gervais, Mr. Ouattara's foreign minister. He said that Mr. Ouattara appreciates the stand taken by London and Ottawa.

"The Canadian ambassador and the United Kingdom ambassador are most welcome in this country," he added. "We, as the official government, we did not issue any decision to those friendly countries, so they are most welcome and we are happy that they have reacted over the issue of the government of Mr. Gbagbo, the false government, to stay."

The diplomatic standoff threatens to further isolate Mr. Gbagbo after the United States froze his assets and banned U.S. citizens from doing business with him or his associates.

Gbagbo advisor Yao Gnamien says the Obama administration is mistaken if it believes this will help solve the crisis.

"This decision can not help the Ivorians solve their problems," said Gnamien. "It is not fair. Why? It is just a controversy born after an election. Only an election. A political crisis. We have seen those crises all over the world. The United States did not take this kind of decision. What were their decisions when this kind of controversy happened in Togo for instance, in Gabon, even in China?"

Ouattara foreign minister Gervais says Washington's move against Mr. Gbagbo and his faimly is long overdue.

"This family and his people are violating the human rights and doing things that are not on the international standard today," said Gervais. "This move is quite welcome in this country. If all countries take the same step, I think Mr. Gbagbo will listen to the world."

The European Union, the United States, and the African Union are all calling on Mr. Gbagbo to yield power to Mr. Ouattara. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has led West African threats of regional military force to drive Mr. Gbagbo from office if he does not leave.

But the unanimity of that regional stand was weakened Friday when Ghana's President John Atta Mills said his country will not take sides in the crisis and does not believe military force will solve the problem.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs