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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid