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 As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.