News / Africa

    Fighting in Ivory Coast Disrupts National TV Broadcasts

    Protesters gather inside the national TV (RTI) headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (File Photo)
    Protesters gather inside the national TV (RTI) headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (File Photo)

    Fighting between supporters of Ivory Coast's rival governments in the commercial capital Abidjan has knocked state-run television off the air. Government troops and rebels are also fighting for control of western provinces near the border with Liberia.

    Smoke from the burning transmitters of state-run television drifts over the Abidjan skyline.

    The national broadcaster, RTI, says technicians are working to restore the signal after its programs were "temporarily suspended' because of an attack on its transmission center in Abobo. That neighborhood is a stronghold of supporters of the U.N.-certified winner of November's vote, former prime minister Alassane Ouattara.

    Renewed fighting in Abobo between Ouattara supporters and security forces loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbabgo now enters its second week.

    Government troops and rebels backing Ouattara are battling for control of areas that were previously part of a buffer zone in western provinces near the border with Liberia. Rebels say they captured two towns inside that zone late last week. Government troops say they are now battling to regain that territory.

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that fighting, coupled with clashes in the political capital Yamoussoukro and running battles here in Abidjan, is a disturbing escalation of the crisis that risks reigniting civil war.

    Mr. Gbagbo's government says U.N. troops killed a police officer Friday. Gbagbo youth leader Charles Ble Goude says Gbagbo supporters are organizing to block the movement of U.N. peacekeepers who he says are helping to transport rebel forces.

    Within the week, Goude says Gbagbo supporters will take control of the hotel where Ouattara's living, which is guarded by U.N. peacekeepers.

    The U.N. mission here is condemning what it calls a new style of propaganda by Gbagbo supporters. It denies killing a police officer or transporting rebel forces, saying what it calls these wicked lies are intended only to create hatred among Gbagbo supporters to prevent the United Nations from protecting civilians.

    The political standoff in the world's largest cocoa grower has pushed cocoa futures to 32-year highs as sanctions against the Gbagbo government drive down the economy.

    There is a shortage of cooking gas. The national refinery is having trouble buying crude. The regional central bank cut off Gbagbo's government, forcing many foreign banks to close and raising questions about soldier and civil servant salaries for February.

    Before RTI went off the air, the Ministry of Economy and Finance announced that everyone has been paid into new accounts opened at banks the government has nationalized. It released a Monday-through-Thursday schedule for government workers to report to specific banks to receive their salaries.

    Starting next Monday, the ministry says civil servants and soldiers will be able to access their new accounts any time they like.

    Gbagbo's government has made great use of the national broadcaster since the constitutional council announced his re-election, after annulling as fraudulent nearly 10 percent of all ballots cast. The government has aired a steady stream of commentary denouncing Ouattara and the international community, especially France.

    The European Union and the United Nations have both condemned RTI for inciting violence. Given the extent of the fire at its transmitter, the station may be off the air for some time, especially if the economic blockade makes it more difficult to acquire replacement parts.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora