News / Africa

    Ivory Coast President Gbagbo Orders UN Peacekeepers Out

    UN armored personnel carriers (APC) park near the Gulf Hotel in Abidjan, 18 Dec 2010
    UN armored personnel carriers (APC) park near the Gulf Hotel in Abidjan, 18 Dec 2010
    Anne Look

    The government of incumbent Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, has called for the immediate departure of U.N. and French peacekeepers. Mr. Gbagbo says he will not cede power to U.N.-endorsed election winner, Alassane Ouattara.

    The situation in Ivory Coast continues to deteriorate following last month's disputed presidential election.

    Incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, says he will not step down, despite violent street protests and mounting international pressure for him to cede power to Alassane Ouattara, who was recognized by the United Nations and much of the international community as the winner of the November 28 presidential run-off.

    Mr. Gbagbo's government is now demanding that the 10,000 U.N. peacekeepers and 900 French soldiers currently on the ground in Ivory Coast leave immediately.

    Reading a statement on state television Saturday, Gbagbo spokeswoman Jacqueline Oble says the government of Ivory Coast considers that the U.N. Mission in Ivory Coast has broadly failed in its mission by carrying out acts that do not conform with its mandate. Oble says the president of Ivory Coast demands the immediate depart of ONUCI and supporting French forces from Ivorian territory.

    The U.N. mission in Ivory Coast, which is currently protecting the Abidjan hotel serving as Mr. Ouattara's headquarters, said early Saturday that masked gunmen in military uniform had opened fire on the U.N. mission's base in Abidjan. No one at the U.N. mission was injured.

    Mr. Gbagbo and Mr. Ouattara have each set up rival governments and have the support of rival armed forces. The political showdown looks dangerously close to reigniting a 2002-2003 civil war.

    On Thursday in Abidjan, rebel fighters loyal to Mr. Ouattara exchanged fire with the army and protests against Mr. Gbagbo led to street clashes where at least 20 people were killed.

    The European Union called on the Ivorian army to defect from Mr. Gbagbo to Mr. Ouattara, a move that sparked anger among Gbagbo supporters who accuse foreigners of interfering in Ivory Coast's affairs and threatening its sovereignty.

    On Friday, United Nation's Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Thursday's violence and warned that any attack on U.N. forces in Ivory Coast would be an attack on the international community.

    "There was a clear winner. Power-sharing is not an option," said Moon.  "The efforts of Laurent Gbagbo and his supporters to retain power and flout the public will cannot be allowed to stand. I call on him to step down and allow his elected successor to assume office without further hindrance. The international community must send this message loud and clear. Any other outcome would make a mockery of democracy and the rule of law."

    Original electoral commission results said Mr. Ouattara won the November 28 run-off election with 54 percent of votes, but the constitutional court, which is led by a Gbagbo ally, annulled 10 percent of ballots as fraudulent and proclaimed Mr. Gbagbo the winner with 51 percent of votes.

    France and the United States have threatened sanctions against Mr. Gbagbo if he does not cede power. ECOWAS and the African Union have suspended Ivory Coast.

    In Nairobi Friday, Kenya's Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, urged the African Union and the international community to step in, arguing that force may be only way to remove Mr. Gbagbo.

    "The world cannot expect Mr. Gbagbo to act in the interest of democracy or to make the decision that favors his people," said Odinga.  "A decision must be made for him."

    The U.N. High Commission on Refugees says fears of civil war in Ivory Coast have already prompted more than 4,000 Ivorians to flee to neighboring Liberia.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora