News / Africa

Ivory Coast's Gbagbo Rejects AU Mediation Proposal

Ivory Coast's internationally-recognized President, Alassane Ouattara, right, addresses journalists following a meeting with African Union commission chairman Jean Ping, left, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, March 5, 2011
Ivory Coast's internationally-recognized President, Alassane Ouattara, right, addresses journalists following a meeting with African Union commission chairman Jean Ping, left, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, March 5, 2011

Representatives of Ivory Coast's incumbent leader, Laurent Gbagbo, have rejected an African Union proposal to resolve his country's leadership dispute. A second day of negotiations is underway in Addis Ababa as a panel of five African presidents tries to mediate the dispute. The panel appears divided over how to settle a feud that threatens to push the world’s top cocoa exporter back toward civil war.

Members of the AU high-level panel on Ivory Coast brushed aside reporters’ questions as they arrived for day two of difficult talks. When cornered, the usually vocal AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping pleaded that only the presidents on the panel could speak.

"They will tell you. No, they will tell you for sure because you have presidents there and they like to speak and they will speak. Me, I am not allowed to speak too much," said Ping.

The African Union acted forcefully last December, suspending Ivory Coast’s membership when it became clear that Gbagbo was refusing to step down after losing a runoff election to challenger Alassane Ouattara.

Since then, however, the continental organization has wavered in its support for the internationally accepted election result.

The high-level panel meeting in Addis Ababa is said to be split between those insisting Ouattara is the legally-elected president, and others - including South African President Jacob Zuma - who reportedly favors a power-sharing deal similar to those negotiated in Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Gbagbo rejected the efforts of an early AU mediator, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, refusing to see him after he made it clear results of the election would have to be recognized. Odinga later was fired after he told reporters Gbagbo was trying to overturn the people’s will.

Cote d’Ivoire symbolizes the great tragedy that seems to have befallen Africa, whereby some incumbents are not willing to give up power if they lose. This refusal is particularly egregious in Cote d’Ivoire’s case, since never has there been such internal, regional and international unanimity among independent institutions about the outcome of a disputed election in Africa.

Odinga was widely regarded as the winner of Kenya’s disputed 2007 election, but became prime minister after a power-sharing deal was struck with President Mwai Kibaki.

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, also kept power through an agreement negotiated by South Africa after an apparent electoral defeat. Mugabe arrived in Addis Ababa Thursday for a specially-called heads of state level meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council on Ivory Coast and Libya. That meeting begins after the mediation panel completes its debate.

Before he was fired in January, Kenya’s Odinga called power sharing negotiations damaging to democracy.

"Africa will never have a stable political base unless we internalize the democratic culture of ceding power after losing in a competitive electoral process," said Odinga. "If one’s vote does not count in determining who will lead a nation, which is the most elemental dimension of democracy, elections will become meaningless, democracy will lose its luster, and the future will be riddled with widespread unrest and instability."

Prospects for a positive outcome of the latest mediation effort dimmed when Gbagbo decided not to attend. He sent a delegation instead, led by former prime minister Pascal Affi N'Guessan, who heads Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front. N’Guessan Thursday described as ‘unacceptable’ an AU proposal calling for an orderly transfer of power to Ouattara.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid