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

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs