News / Africa

Gbagbo Spokesman Criticizes Increased Sanctions

Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo, left, talks with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, an African Union envoy sent to mediate the ongoing Ivorian political standoff, following a meeting at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Jan 17, 2011
Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo, left, talks with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, an African Union envoy sent to mediate the ongoing Ivorian political standoff, following a meeting at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Jan 17, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Ahoua Don Mell, spokesman for incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo’s government

Peter Clottey

The spokesman for incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo’s government is questioning the rationale behind increasing sanctions against the administration by the international community describing it as punishing the victims of the violence perpetrated by the rebels.

Ahoua Don Mello says the European Union and the rest of the international community has refused to impose sanctions on the rebels, who he says have been committing atrocities by killing unarmed Ivorians in the ongoing political crisis.

“Everybody knows that the rebels are attacking the country every day, killing and destroying the north of the country [and] nobody takes sanctions against the rebels. But, what we observe now is that the sanctions are against the victims, but not those rebels who are killing the people in the country every day,” said Mello.

Some analysts say the European Union is considering renewed sanctions targeting Gbagbo and his close allies in an effort to force him to step down and cede power.

But, Mello says the international community, including the European Union, erred by refusing to listen to Gbagbo’s proposal to end the political stalemate.

“They made a big mistake because the country right now is divided into two parts; the north is under the control of the rebels and Mr. Ouattara and the south is in the control of Mr. Gbagbo and the national army. What is important is to create a dialogue between the two main persons in the country to rebuild the country,” said Mello.

“But, if you want to use sanctions, [or] you want to use military forces to force Gbagbo out that cannot solve the problem because Gbagbo is not alone, he is with all of the country,” he added.

Mello reiterates that an honest face-to-face dialogue between the internationally recognized President, Alassane Ouattara, and Gbagbo is, in his words, the only option to resolve the political stalemate.

“We are not bothered about sanctions. We are here in our country. What kind of sanctions can they take that we can’t go to Europe? We don’t need to go to Europe right now. We have a country. Those who want to see us we will go with them [and] those who don’t want to see us we can’t go with them,” Mello said.

“The violence is not the way to solve the crisis in Ivory Coast. This is not a good way. The rebels attacked the country in September 2002. In 2004, the French army attacked directly the country destroying all the heavy weapons of the country. But, they couldn’t force Mr. Gbagbo out. That means that violence is not the way to solve the problem,” he added.

Meanwhile, pro-Ouattara forces say they have launched offensives in the west, east and center-west of the country.

The pro-Ouattara fighters say they opened up new frontlines Monday against Gbagbo forces in the center-west town of Daloa and near the eastern town of Bondoukou.

Intense fighting broke out earlier Monday in the western town of Duekoue, a strategically important town that has long been held by pro-Gbagbo forces.

The Ouattara fighters say they have captured the town, but Gbagbo forces say it has not yet fallen.

Gbagbo has defied intense international pressure to turn over power to Ouattara, who the United Nations and African Union recognize as the winner of last November's presidential election.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid