News / Africa

Ivory Coast Battle Rages Near Gbagbo's Home

Smoke rises from the city centre of Abidjan April 1, 2011 as fierce fighting spread across the city.
Smoke rises from the city centre of Abidjan April 1, 2011 as fierce fighting spread across the city.
TEXT SIZE - +

Heavy gunfire and explosions have gripped Ivory Coast's main city, Abidjan, as a battle for control of the country raged outside the presidential palace and the home of incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo.

Residents hid in their homes as fighters for internationally-recognized president Alassane Ouattara battled forces still loyal to Mr. Gbagbo.

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

A spokesperson for the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast, Hamadoune Toure said that the mission offered to transport Mr. Gbagbo out of the country to help resolve the crisis.

Mr. Ouattara has been declared the winner of a November presidential election, but Mr. Gbagbo has refused to step down and has been able to stay in control largely with the military's help.

However, fighters loyal to Mr. Ouattara met little resistance from pro-Gbagbo troops when they swept into Abidjan Thursday, after a fast-moving offensive through the country in which they captured town after town.

On Friday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Mr. Gbagbo to hand over power and warned both sides that anyone who commits human rights violations will be held accountable.  Both Gbagbo and Ouattara supporters have been accused of abuses.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said there are reports of extrajudicial killings, the killing and maiming of children and sexual violence.  

Special Rapporteur Chistof Heyns cited reports that civilians are being killed for expressing their political affiliation.

The United Nations says more than 490 people have been killed since the political crisis began in early December.  It says up to one million have fled, including thousands who have crossed into neighboring Liberia and Ghana.

The African Union, United Nations, the West African bloc ECOWAS, France and the United States have called on Mr. Gbagbo to give up.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid