News / Africa

ECOWAS Official: Concerned, Not Surprised by Ivorian Violence

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (R) and President of Benin Republic Boni Yayi chats during their meeting at the emergency summit of Heads of States of ECOWAS on the political crisis in Ivory Coast in Abuja 24 Dec 2010.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (R) and President of Benin Republic Boni Yayi chats during their meeting at the emergency summit of Heads of States of ECOWAS on the political crisis in Ivory Coast in Abuja 24 Dec 2010.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission

TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey

The president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission has expressed concern about the violent clashes in the Ivorian commercial capital, Abidjan, between supporters of both President-elect Alassane Ouattara and embattled President Laurent Gbagbo.

Ambassador James Victor Gbeho says there is a need for the rival parties to stop the violence to allow ECOWAS, as well as the African Union (AU), to find a solution to end the ongoing political stalemate. Gbeho, who just returned to Nigeria after leading an ECOWAS delegation to Ivory Coast, also urged the rivals to, in his words, exercise caution.

“All sides regard this as an unfortunate development, although not surprising because, as time has passed, both sides have grown rather jittery, especially since they have been talking at each other in the immediate past. And so, I’m not surprised that we are beginning to see the beginning of fights,” said Gbeho.

“It has gone on all along. Perhaps the only difference is that, in frustration, one side is using heavy weapons in order to inflict maximum damage. That, and all types of fighting, must be stopped. The international community, especially the African Union and ECOWAS, are appealing to both sides to exercise restraint. The High-Level Panel of the African Union is working hard and we hope that, very soon, the whole thing will be sorted out.”

Gbagbo has imposed an overnight curfew in two Abidjan neighborhoods seen as Ouattara strongholds, the Abobo and Anyama districts for three consecutive days that began Monday. Sporadic fighting between both sides continued Monday in both neighborhoods for a sixth straight day.

Gbeho describes as regrettable the ongoing violence. He says the growing divisions among African leaders have slowed efforts of both the AU, as well as the ECOWAS, in resolving the ongoing political stalemate.

“There is no question about that, that it was the division that led to all this. You remember when ECOWAS first adopted its resolutions and issued them as communiqués that the whole of Africa was behind (them). But then, owing to the backtracking of a few countries, we lost a lot of time and created the space for the African Union to step in, and so it was, in a way, unavoidable,” said Gbeho.

“But, since the High-Level Panel started working, the unity of Africa has been restored. And, as you know, the African Union is working closely with ECOWAS to find a resolution of the conflict.”

Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accused Belarus of delivering three attack helicopters to Ivory Coast to help Gbagbo. In a statement issued late Sunday, Ban called the deliveries “a serious violation” of an arms embargo and vowed that “appropriate action will be taken.”

He also called for the Security Council to meet “urgently’ to discuss the issue. The Belarus Foreign Ministry rejects the claims saying it is in strict compliance with all Security Council resolutions.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
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.
AppleAndroid