News / Africa

Ivory Coast: Ouattara Orders Blockade of Ivorian Presidential Residence

Soldiers loyal to Alassane Ouattara, along with several men who were detained for unknown reasons, drive past a checkpoint serving as an operating base, at one of the main entrances to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, April 7, 2011.
Soldiers loyal to Alassane Ouattara, along with several men who were detained for unknown reasons, drive past a checkpoint serving as an operating base, at one of the main entrances to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, April 7, 2011.

Forces backing Ivory Coast's internationally recognized president, Alassane Ouattara, are blockading the presidential compound where the country's incumbent leader is refusing to surrender.  

In a broadcast on his television network, Ouattara called on his forces to maintain discipline and restore order in Abidjan.

It is a reversal in the four month political crisis, when Ouattara was blockaded in a resort hotel, surrounded by Gbagbo's forces.  Many of those soldiers have surrendered to United Nations peacekeepers as pro-Ouattara forces take control of the commercial capital.

Those forces renewed their offensive on the presidential residence on Thursday, after Gbagbo fighters held off an attack with heavy weapons.

French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet says Gbagbo now has fewer than 1,000 troops in Abidjan, some 200 of whom are defending the compound where he is holding out in a bunker, refusing to acknowledge that he lost last November's presidential election.

French and United Nations officials were unable to negotiate Gbagbo's surrender when he refused to recognize Ouattara as the country's duly-elected president.

Gbagbo supporters say their leader never intended to surrender and opened talks only to negotiate a ceasefire after French and U.N. attack helicopters destroyed heavy weapons at the presidential residence and the main barracks.

In Paris, the incumbent president's adviser Alain Toussaint says Ouattara will never see Mr. Gbagbo surrender.

"Mr. Gbagbo will never surrender to anyone - not to the Ouattara rebellion, not to the United Nations, not even to France," he said.

Toussaint says Mr. Gbagbo is the elected president of Ivory Coast because of the results declared by the constitutional council.

Gbagbo's claim to the presidency is based on the constitutional council annulling as fraudulent nearly 10 percent of the ballots cast in his run-off election with Ouattara.  Ouattara's claim is based on electoral commission results certified by the United Nations.

Hundreds of people have died since fighting began in December, including many civilians.  The United Nations is investigating violence last week near the Liberian border.  In his broadcast late Thursday, Ouattara said "light will be shed on all crimes," and he ordered his fighters to be "exemplary in their behavior" and abstain from any act of violence against civilians.

View related slide show

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid