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 China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
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 A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid