News / Africa

Ivory Coast Strike Call Goes Unheeded

Ivory Coast's incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo speaks during an exclusive interview at his residence in Abidjan, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010. West African leaders are threatening to remove Gbagbo, widely believed to have lost recent elections, by force if nee
Ivory Coast's incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo speaks during an exclusive interview at his residence in Abidjan, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010. West African leaders are threatening to remove Gbagbo, widely believed to have lost recent elections, by force if nee
Anne Look

Most workers in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan have ignored a call to strike to force incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo from power.

The president's political rival, Alassane Ouattara, had called for a national shut-down Monday to increase pressure on Gbagbo to accept election results and step down. Opposition leader Alphonse Djedje-Mady says they cannot allow Gbagbo to steal their victory.

However, shops were open in Abidjan and street markets were bustling as normal. Some workers said they could not afford to skip a day of work.

Ouattara remains holed up in an Abidjan hotel protected by U.N. peacekeepers and former rebel fighters.

Both Gbagbo and Ouattara claim they won last month's presidential election. The international community is recognizing Ouattara as the winner, and the West African regional bloc ECOWAS is threatening to use force to get Gbagbo to leave.

Gbagbo told France's Le Figaro newspaper Sunday that any attempt to use force to remove him from power could start a war in West Africa.

He said he takes the ECOWAS threat seriously, but will not back down. Gbagbo contends France and the United States are plotting to drive him out of power.

Three West African presidents are traveling to Abidjan Tuesday to try to persuade Gbagbo to step down. The presidents of Benin, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde are expected to offer  Gbagbo political asylum in exchange for his resignation. If Gbagbo refuses, the West African regional bloc says it will take other measures, including the use of "legitimate force," to enforce U.N.-endorsed election results.

The United Nations says more than 170 people have been killed in post-election violence in Ivory Coast.

Gbabgo's camp denies allegations of human rights violations and use of excessive force against its opponents.

Interior Minister, Emile Guirieoulou, says the Ivorian government has noted that the United Nations agency in Geneva, like the U.N. operation in Ivory Coast, has taken a partisan position in the way they communicate information to member countries. He says they chose to give privilege to allegations and accusations made by one side without any verification or investigation, ignoring the figures given to them by the Ivorian government.

The November presidential election was meant to stabilize Ivory Coast, eight years after a civil war split the country into rebel- and government-controlled areas.

Following the poll, Ivory Coast's electoral commission said Ouattara won with 54 percent of the vote. But Ivory Coast's constitutional court, which is led by an ally of Gbagbo, annulled 10 percent of the ballots saying they were fraudulent and announced Gbagbo the winner of the election.


You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid