News / Africa

UN Moves Gbagbo; Ouattara Orders Army to Secure Abidjan

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara (C) poses with General Philippe Mangou (4L), chief of staff of former pro-Laurent Gbagbo Defense and Security Forces (FDS), and other military officers during a ceremony at the Hotel du Golf in Abidjan on April 12
Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara (C) poses with General Philippe Mangou (4L), chief of staff of former pro-Laurent Gbagbo Defense and Security Forces (FDS), and other military officers during a ceremony at the Hotel du Golf in Abidjan on April 12

United Nations peacekeepers have moved Ivory Coast's former president out of the commercial capital Abidjan where he was captured by forces loyal to the elected president.

President Alassane Ouattara says former president Laurent Gbagbo has been moved out of Abidjan to a villa where "his rights as a former head of state will be respected."

Mr. Gbagbo was captured by Ouattara forces Monday after holding out in an underground bunker at the presidential compound, refusing to recognize that he lost November's vote. Mr. Ouattara says the former president will face charges at both the national and international level for crimes against the Ivorian people.

President Ouattara ordered troops once loyal to Mr. Gbagbo to return to duty after meeting with Mr. Gbagbo's former army chief of staff General Philippe Mangou.

Mangou says there has been an important change in the leadership of the country, so the armed forces must now swear allegiance to their new leader. He says President Ouattara has ordered them to help secure the city of Abidjan and the interior of the country.

Securing Abidjan means rounding up members of Mr. Gbagbo's militant youth wing, who Mangou just weeks ago helped rally to the former president's defense.  Mr. Gbagbo says his supporters should stop fighting.  But automatic weapons fire continued in parts of Abidjan Wednesday including the downtown Plateau district.

Life in other parts of the city returned to something closer to normal.  Supermarkets and pharmacies are open in the 2 Plateau neighborhood.  Taxis on Boulevard Francois Mitterand drive down an exit ramp past a bombed-out pick-up truck with a twisted machine gun mounted over its cab.

In the Koumassi neighborhood, motorbikes queue for fuel next to auto supply and radio-repair shops. Women sell fish and onions from plastic tarps on the ground.

At Le Petit Cafe du Grand Nord across the street from Koumassi's main mosque, Laye Konate drinks coffee with his friends.

Konate says people are starting to work again.  Shops are open.  There is fuel at the station.  Life is beginning to return.  There is still sporadic shooting at night by Gbagbo supporters, he says, but there are patrols by French troops and U.N. peacekeepers during the night as well.

Two French armored personnel carriers roll past a shop selling bathroom tile, crossing into the other lane to pass men pushing heavy wooden carts of cassava.

Hairdresser Annie Timite says people have really suffered during this crisis.

She says there has been no food and no work for the last two weeks while Ouattara fighters battled for control of Abidjan.  Timite says there have been no reprisal attacks against Gbagbo supporters in Koumassi because President Ouattara is asking everyone to stay calm.

Gbagbo supporter Ephraim Aka sits outside his apartment building.  He says he has heard that Gbagbo supporters are being harassed, but he has no trouble.

Aka says some people are trying to force an inter-ethnic conflict in Ivory Coast. But since the election he has no problems with Ouattara supporters. My wife is a Ouattara supporter, he says, so there you go.

There are far fewer shops open in pro-Gbagbo areas of the Treichville neighborhood.  Tires burn in Boulevard Valery Giscard D'Estaing past the Palais des Sports.  Women collect water from a hydrant.

When a young man sitting outside a closed shoe store was asked if he supports the former president, he jumped up and approached reporters, shaking his finger in their faces and telling them they should get back in their car and leave immediately.  They did.

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs