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

Photogallery US Storm Falls Short of Severe Predictions, Yet Affects Millions

NYC mayor says, 'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' yet blizzard warnings, travel bans remain for several East Coast states More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle with Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people were displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid