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 One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs