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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid