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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid