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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs