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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs