News / Africa

Ivory Coast Fighting Spreads to Abidjan

Unidentified troops drive past in the city of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, April 1, 2011
Unidentified troops drive past in the city of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, April 1, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Fighters backing Ivory Coast's internationally-recognized president are battling for control of the commercial capital as the incumbent leader refuses to give up power.

It was a full day of fighting in Abidjan as forces loyal to the internationally recognized President Alassane Ouattara battled troops still loyal to incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo. They fought near Gbagbo's home in the Cocody neighborhood and around the presidential palace downtown.

Gbagbo's whereabouts are not known. He has not been seen in public since the fighting began. There was brief TV footage of him on state-run television late Thursday joking with a dozen supporters.

Fighting also took place outside the headquarters of the state-run television. Television broadcasts went off the air Thursday but resumed broadcasting pro-Gbagbo video late Friday.

It is not clear if Gbagbo is inside his home, in the presidential palace or elsewhere. A Paris-based adviser, Alain Toussaint, said Friday that Gbagbo has no intention of ceding power.

The spokesman for the United Nations mission in Ivory Coast, Hamdoun Toure, said the U.N. is willing to facilitate Gbagbo's departure, but he has not yet responded to that offer.

While pro-Ouattara troops moved quickly to capture the capital Yamoussoukro and the port of San Pedro, Gbagbo appears to have far-more-determined defenders in Abidjan, despite the defection of army chief of staff, Philippe Mangou, who has sought refuge with his wife and children in the home of the South African ambassador.

Artillery and rocket-propelled grenades in Abidjan are some of the heaviest fighting of a crisis that began four months ago when Gbagbo refused to accept electoral commission results certified by the United Nations that showed Ouattara won the vote.

Ouattara is calling on members of the Gbagbo military to join his fighters, saying it is time to put themselves at the disposal of the country and return to legality.

The U.N. High Commission for Human Rights is urging both sides to respect the rights of civilians, saying it has reports of abuses by pro-Ouattara forces in western provinces near the Liberian border and reports of abuses by pro-Gbagbo troops in Abidjan.

Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. human rights office, said, "There should be no revenge taking place. The forces should show restraint. They might wish to bear in mind that an International Commission of Inquiry is already being set up to look into human rights violations in Côte d'Ivoire, and obviously that will look at all human rights violations committed by people on either side. And they might also want to remember that the International Criminal Court is also engaged in Côte d'Ivoire."

The United Nations says nearly 500 people have been killed since November's vote. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging all parties to avoid harming civilians and is repeating his demand that Gbagbo immediately give up power so Ouattara can take charge.

The West African regional alliance is calling on Gbagbo to end the suffering of his country and quit power. The United States says it is time Gbagbo "read the writing on the wall" and immediately step down, as the U.S. State Department says it now appears events in Ivory Coast are "coming to a resolution."

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid