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

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs