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

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs