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

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    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.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora