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

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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid