News / Africa

Ouattara Says Force May Be Needed to Remove Incumbent Ivorian Government

Ivory Coast's presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara attends an interview at his headquarters in Abidjan, 20 Jan 2011.
Ivory Coast's presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara attends an interview at his headquarters in Abidjan, 20 Jan 2011.

The internationally-recognized winner of Ivory Coast's presidential election says military force may now be needed to remove the incumbent government. The international community is considering additional sanctions that the incumbent government says will hurt foreign businesses more than Ivory Coast.

The incumbent government of Laurent Gbagbo no longer recognizes the African Union mediation of Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga because it says he is siding with the internationally-recognized winner of November's vote, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. Diplomatic options to this crisis appear to be closing as West African military leaders consider a regional intervention force to remove Mr. Gbagbo.

Mr. Ouattara says it now appears that force may be necessary.

Mr. Ouattara says it is lamentable that after all these mediations, everyone realizes that the only solution is to make Mr. Gbagbo leave with other measures, including what he calls legitimate force.

Mr. Odinga says Mr. Gbabgo is running out of choices.

"I think President Gbagbo is seeing that the noose is closing, that the options are actually reducing and that he has no other chance but to negotiate a safe exit,” Odinga said. “I told him as much that this is a chance he has to take. We could guarantee him some security, either in retirement, or he will be able to engage in politics in Cote d'Ivoire or in exile."

Mr. Odinga says there will likely be further sanctions against the Gbagbo government if it refuses to yield power to Mr. Ouattara.

The European Union has already frozen the assets of Ivory Coast's main cocoa ports, its state oil firm, its main energy utility, its national broadcaster, and three banks because European leaders say those firms help fund what they call an illegitimate government.

Mr. Gbagbo's government says European businesses have far more to lose from those sanctions than Ivorians.

The managing director of Abidjan's port, Marcel Gossio, says sanctions are irresponsible because the port has nothing to do with elections.

Gossio says sanctions against the port of Abidjan mean freezing port accounts in Europe. But those accounts are there to pay European contractors, so he says he will not pay them and that will be that. Gossio says it is the decision of European governments that Ivory Coast will stop working with European contractors. They are not the only ones in the world, he says.

Mr. Ouattara says sanctions must be properly targeted against Mr. Gbagbo and his government so as not to affect Ivorian citizens, many of whom are still struggling in an economy hurt by a brief civil war and the political divisions that have followed.

Mr. Ouattara says the economic measures he supports should target those who are responsible for the situation: Mr. Gbagbo, his government, his entourage and the soldiers who support him.

Once Mr. Gbagbo leaves power, Mr. Ouattara says he will move quickly to repair the damage to Ivory Coast's economy.

Mr. Ouattara says when Mr. Gbagbo is no longer in power, which he hopes will be very soon, Ivory Coast will renew its ties with the international banking world, multilateral donors and the African Development Bank.

The United Nations is sending 2,000 more peacekeepers to Ivory Coast, raising that force to nearly 12,000 after Mr. Gbagbo called for the withdrawal of the entire mission because he says it is no longer neutral in the conflict.

Ivory Coast's military says soldiers will now stop and search all U.N. vehicles, further raising tensions in a situation where U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says violence against U.N. personnel are crimes under international law.

You May Like

Video VOA ‘Town Hall’ Shines Light on Ebola Crisis

Experts call for greater speed in identification and treatment of deadly disease More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Funding Program Helps Extremely Poor in Ghana

Broad objective for Ghana's social cash transfer program is to lessen the impact of poverty on the most vulnerable people, elderly, orphans, those with disabilities 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
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 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.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid