News / Africa

Analyst: Ivorian Leader “Forgetting” Past Agreement

Ivorian-born Cornell University professor N'Dri Assie-Lumumba says 2005 Pretoria Agreement said the UN would certify election results

Presidents of Benin Boni Yayi (C) is escorted by Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo's Prime Minister Gilbert Marie N'gbo Ake (R) as he arrives at Felix Houphouet Boigny airport in Abidjan before holding separate talks with Gbagbo and his rival Alassane
Presidents of Benin Boni Yayi (C) is escorted by Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo's Prime Minister Gilbert Marie N'gbo Ake (R) as he arrives at Felix Houphouet Boigny airport in Abidjan before holding separate talks with Gbagbo and his rival Alassane

Multimedia

Audio
  • Ivorian-born U-S professor Assie-Lumumba spoke with Butty

James Butty

A U.S.-based Ivorian-born university professor told VOA Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo has forgotten a 2005 agreement when he argues the international community is interfering in the country’s internal affairs.

N’Dri Assie-Lumumba, professor at the African Studies and Research Center at Cornell University, said Mr. Gbagbo agreed that the United Nations would certify the results of last month’s disputed election.

“It was in 2005, in Pretoria, that it was decided that the United Nations would have a very specific role to play in the process of election. Five years later, the elections have taken place and the United Nations had been playing the role that the outgoing president himself had agreed upon. Therefore, the argument that the external powers, with Western states as leaders, are trying to destabilize Cote d’Ivoire to take away its autonomy are irrelevant,” she said.

Assie-Lumumba said she would be one of those who would resist any external interference because she said African countries should continue to work hard to remain relevant as contemporary modern states with the power to deal with their own affairs.

UN peacekeepers in Ivory Coast
UN peacekeepers in Ivory Coast

But, she said Mr. Gbagbo is using external interference as a pretext to continue to cling to power.

Three West African presidents met with Mr. Gbagbo Tuesday in Abidjan to demand that he accept the results of last month's elections and step down or face possible removal by West African military forces.

Assie-Lumumba said Mr. Gbagbo should heed the advice of the sub-region and step down, but she said, given Mr. Gbagbo’s nature, she doubts he will step down voluntarily.

“He should listen, but I doubt he would listen. He’s not that type of person. Also, at this point, his mental state is involved in another sphere, literally thinking of himself as the one who will carry the flag of autonomy or of independence of Africa, evoking all kinds of arguments that have no relevance whatsoever in the situation that has been presented to us – that an election had taken place and there had been a clear winner and that he (Gbagbo) has decided to ignore the voice of the people,” Assie-Lumumba said.

She said the cancellation of a Wednesday rally in Abidjan by the youth wing that supports Mr. Gbagbo could be a sign that those around Mr. Gbagbo may be trying to soften their position.

“There are also many people around him who have an interest in seeing him stay in power. At the same time, at this point, some of them are trying to look at the big picture and to see their own interest. The sanctions will not affect Mr. Gbagbo alone. Many of the people who are supporting him will be affected by the sanctions,” Assie-Lumumba said.

She said, even though it seems the only language that Mr. Gbagbo understands is the use of force, West African leaders should not have threatened force. Instead, Assie-Lumumba said, sanctions are more powerful than violence.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs