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

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs