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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.