News / Africa

ECOWAS Leaders Return to Ivory Coast Monday Not to Negotiate

Sierra Leone information minister Ibrahim Ben Kargbo says the West African leaders will tell embattled President Gbagbo to step down

Supporters of opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, make their feelings known, as they sing at an event at a hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 30 Dec 2010
Supporters of opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, make their feelings known, as they sing at an event at a hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 30 Dec 2010

Multimedia

Audio
  • Sierra Leone information minister Kargbo spoke with Butty

James Butty

Three presidents from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are expected in Ivory Coast Monday to reiterate the regional bloc’s demand that embattled President Laurent Gbagbo leave power and give way to his rival Alassane Ouattara.

The leaders will be joined by African Union envoy and Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Odinga.

Traveling with Sierra Leoneon President Ernest Bai Koroma is Information Minister Ibrahim Ben Kargbo who told VOA the West African leaders are not going to negotiate with Mr. Gbagbo.

Instead, Kargbo said the regional leaders are returning to tell the Ivorian leader to abide by the Christmas Eve ECOWAS declaration calling for him to step down.

“We are leaving this morning, Monday, heading for Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Yes, the President of Sierra Leone will be joined by the Presidents of Cape Verde and Benin to meet with Mr. Laurent Gbagbo and Mr. Ouattara once more consistent with the Christmas Eve communiqué circulated by the heads of state in Abuja,” he said.

Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Dec 30 2010.
Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Dec 30 2010.

Kargbo said the West African leaders are not going back to Abidjan to negotiate with Mr. Gbagbo.

“ECOWAS is merely attempting or trying to implement the communiqué circulated by the heads of state Christmas Eve and, in doing so, ECOWAS wants to make it very clear that there is no point of negotiation, as all the parties must adhere to the contents of the communiqué circulated by the heads of state on the 24th of December,” Kargbo said.

The international community, including the African Union, recognizes Mr. Ouattara as the country's new president.

Kargbo said Mr. Gbagbo and his supporters must respect the decision of Ivory Coast’s election commission, as well as the view of the international community.

“Don’t forget that the international community holds the view that Mr. Ouattara is the legitimate president of Cote d’Ivoire at the moment because the international community holds the view that it was Mr. Ouattara who won the election recently conducted in that country,” Kargbo said.

He did not rule out that ECOWAS will use force should Mr. Gbagbo refuse to step down.

“The legitimacy of ECOWAS is not in dispute at all and the determination of ECOWAS to bring this thing to an end is not (in) dispute at all. What is very clear is that ECOWAS wants to be very certain that everybody is given a fair chance, including Mr. Laurent Gbagbo, before a final decision is taken. But definitely, ECOWAS not prepared to negotiate on the issue as to who the president of Cote d’Ivoire (is) because it is so clear that Mr. Ouattara is considered the president of that country at the moment,” Kargbo said.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters 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