News / Africa

ECOWAS Spokesman: Divisions Undermine Ivorian Peace Efforts

A group of Young Patriots, youth supporters of Laurent Gbagbo, blockade a road to prevent a UN convoy from passing in Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan, 11 Jan 2011
A group of Young Patriots, youth supporters of Laurent Gbagbo, blockade a road to prevent a UN convoy from passing in Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan, 11 Jan 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Sonny Ugoh, communications director of ECOWAS, spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

An official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has expressed concern that growing divisions among African leaders are undermining the sub-regional body’s efforts to resolve the ongoing crisis in Ivory Coast.

Sonny Ugoh, communications director of ECOWAS, said his organization is consulting with its international partners to find a solution to the Ivorian crisis.

“Obviously, there is beginning to be discordant voices in Africa regarding the situation there (Ivory Coast). The position of ECOWAS is that (Alassane) Ouattara won the election. But now, when you begin to get some sections of the African continent to suggest that that is not the case, then we begin to have a problem,” said Ugoh.

The sub-regional bloc also expressed concern about a South African naval vessel, which was seen docked at a port in Ivory Coast. At a news conference before his trip to Guinea, the ECOWAS commission’s president, Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, said, “As we talk now, there is a South African warship docked in Cote d'Ivoire. Now actions such as that can only complicate the matter further.”

“When things like that happen, it might be misconstrued to suggest that they (South Africa) are in support of a particular party in the crisis there and that would not contribute to the resolution of the crisis there. If you create that kind of situation, there is likelihood that it will prolong the resolution of the problem,” said Ugoh, communications director of ECOWAS.

African Union mediators have arrived in the commercial capital, Abidjan, for another attempt to resolve the crisis. Analysts say divisions among African leaders surfaced during the recent A.U. summit in Ethiopia.

Ugoh said the Ivorian crisis is a delicate one which he said needs a careful and well-thought-out solution.

“It is important for us to maintain the status quo and give time for the engagement that is ongoing to be concluded because I think that is what is important. We don’t want a situation where (conditions) will deteriorate and, suddenly, we have a civil war in our hands,” said Ugoh.

The mediators are to meet with representatives of the two rival presidents and report their findings to an A.U.-appointed panel of five heads of state.  The A.U. says the panel will then make legally-binding decisions about the impasse.

Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent, has said he will not accept any finding that does not recognize him as the winner of the presidential poll.

Mr. Gbagbo still controls Ivory Coast's security forces and state institutions. President-elect Ouattara continues to operate out of an Abidjan hotel that is surrounded by both pro-Gbagbo security forces and U.N. peacekeepers, which are protecting the building.

Residents in Abidjan say at least three people have been killed in clashes linked to the country's political crisis.

Witnesses say the bodies of three people were discovered after fighting on Monday between security forces loyal to incumbent President Gbagbo and supporters of Mr. Ouattara.

Monday's clashes broke out in the pro-Ouattara neighborhood of Abobo, where deadly fighting between the two mens’ supporters took place last month.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid