News / Africa

Curfew to Follow Sunday Vote in Ivory Coast

People watch on a big screen as Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo talks during a live debate on national television with Ivory Coast opposition leader Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, 25 Nov 2010
People watch on a big screen as Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo talks during a live debate on national television with Ivory Coast opposition leader Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, 25 Nov 2010

Ivory Coast's president says there will be an overnight curfew following Sunday's vote to prevent post-electoral violence. Hostility between the rival candidates led to one death ahead of the country's first-ever presidential debate.

President Laurent Gbagbo and former prime minister Alassane Ouattara are in their final day of campaigning Friday. There will be a day of reflection on Saturday ahead of Sunday's second-round runoff.

President Gbagbo says there will be an overnight curfew following that vote. In a nationally-televised debate late Thursday, Mr. Gbagbo announced that after 10 pm Sunday, police and gendarmes will clear the streets so there is no violence and no interference with the transmission of ballots to the electoral commission.

In that debate, Mr. Gbagbo blamed Mr. Ouattara for the country's continuing instability.

In August of 2002, President Gbagbo says, Mr. Ouattara threatened to make the country ungovernable. Mr. Gbagbo says he does not like that statement, not as the president, but because it has not brought and security to Ivory Coast. He says Mr. Ouattara is responsible for all the instability in the country between 1999 and today.

Mr. Ouatarra says it is easy to accuse someone without proof or investigation. At the time of the 2002 coup attempt, he says President Gbagbo called it an opportunity for democracy. When President Gbagbo returned from Libreville, he was escorted by soldiers through the city of Bouake. Yet despite all that, Ouattara says he never accused the president of being responsible for that instability.

As a former economist, Mr. Ouattara said voters can trust him to draw more foreign investment to Ivory Coast. President Gbagbo said people are not necessarily looking for a good economist. Great leaders, he said, must know how to lead a state.

This election is meant to reunite the country after a brief civil war divided north from south. But campaigning has revived many of the underlying divisions between the regions.

Mr. Ouattara trailed President Gbagbo in the first round, so to win on Sunday, he needs votes from other regions to add to his traditional base of support in the north. He is counting on the endorsement of the third-place finisher, former president Henri Konan Bedie, to win over the ethnic Baoule vote in central regions.

President Gbabgo is campaigning for those Baoule voters by continuing to blame Mr. Ouattara for past violence and playing on some voters' misgivings about the former prime minister's nationality. Many people from the north are descendants of immigrants from Burkina Faso and Mali.

Both candidates ended the debate by appealing to their supporters to remain calm as hostility has grown in this last week of campaigning. Security officials say a Gbagbo supporter was stabbed to death by a Ouattara supporter in the western commune of Bayota.

A special security force in place for this vote is sending more troops to northern areas still controlled by former rebels. Additional U.N. peacekeepers are on the ground on loan from the mission in neighboring Liberia.

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says an increasingly radicalized campaign could pose security risks. While the first round was relatively peaceful, the International Crisis Group is warning that both candidates could now be tempted to contest the results in the street if they lose.

The U.N. is urging both candidates to refrain from declaring victory until the final election results are formally announced. First returns are expected late Sunday.



You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More