News / Africa

Ivory Coast Protests Turn Deadly

Ivory Coast police loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo face supporters of Alassane Ouattara, who has claimed to have won last month's presidential election, during a protest in a street in Abidjan on Dec 16, 2010
Ivory Coast police loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo face supporters of Alassane Ouattara, who has claimed to have won last month's presidential election, during a protest in a street in Abidjan on Dec 16, 2010

Street protests in Ivory Coast against incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo have turned violent with at least four dead. Witnesses said heavy artillery fire has been heard near the base of president-elect Alassane Ouattara, who called for the street demonstrations.

The situation erupted Thursday in Abidjan as demonstrators prepared to march with the government of internationally-endorsed presidential election winner Ouattara to the state television headquarters to install a new station director.

Witnesses said security forces fired tear gas and used force to disperse Ouattara supporters in Abidjan neighborhoods. It also was reported that demonstrators had set up street barricades and were hurling stones at heavily-armed security forces.

Gbagbo has refused to cede power to Ouattara, who was recognized by the United Nations and much of the international community as the winner of last month's presidential poll.

United Nation's Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern Wednesday that the political stand-off in Ivory Coast, now entering its third week, had taken a "worrying turn."

Spokesman, Martin Nesirky, delivered the U.N. chief's statement.

"The Secretary-General reiterates his call on all the Ivorian parties and their supporters to exercise patience and refrain from any actions that could, accidentally or deliberately, provoke violence. He stresses that in the currently charged political environment such actions could have unpredictable consequences, including reigniting civil war," said Nesirky. "The Secretary-General therefore reminds those who incite or perpetrate violence, and those who use the media for this purpose, that they will be held accountable for their actions."

The television station headquarters is heavily guarded by troops loyal to Gbagbo. There are fears that confrontations between protesters and security forces at the TV station could end in bloodshed. On state-television, a Gbagbo-backed military spokesman urged Ivorians not to participate in the march.

In addition to Thursday's march on the state television headquarters, Ouattara's prime minister, Guillaume Soro, said earlier this week that his government would seize control of state institutions and hold a Cabinet meeting Friday in the official prime minister's office.

Original electoral commission results said Ouattara won the November 28 run-off election with 54 percent of votes, but the constitutional court, which is led by a Gbagbo ally, annulled 10 percent of ballots as fraudulent and proclaimed Gbagbo the winner with 51 percent of votes.

Both men have set up rival governments and have the support of rival armed forces. Gbagbo continues to occupy government buildings under the protection of government troops, while Ouattara's government is based in an Abidjan hotel guarded by U.N. peacekeepers and former rebel fighters.

The European Union has approved financial and travel sanctions on Gbagbo and his allies if he continues to cling to power. ECOWAS and the African Union have suspended Ivory Coast, and countries like France and the United States continue to call on Gbagbo to resign.

Gbagbo has dismissed international support for Ouattara as foreign interference that threatens Ivory Coast's sovereignty.

The election was meant to reunite the country after a 2002-2003 civil war split it between a rebel-held north and a government-held south.

Witnesses said security forces shot and killed at least one person Wednesday during an anti-Gbagbo demonstration in the capital, Yamoussoukro. Amnesty International said security forces have killed more than 20 people since the November 28 presidential run-off.



You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More