News / Africa

Aide Says Gbagbo Rejects AU Endorsement of Ouattara as Ivory Coast Leader

Ivory Coast's internationally-recognized President, Alassane Ouattara, right, stands with African Union Commission Chairman, Jean Ping, left, addressing journalists in Abidjan, March 5, 2011
Ivory Coast's internationally-recognized President, Alassane Ouattara, right, stands with African Union Commission Chairman, Jean Ping, left, addressing journalists in Abidjan, March 5, 2011

The incumbent government of Ivory Coast is rejecting the African Union's endorsement of the United-Nations certified winner of November's presidential election, saying African leaders are making the situation worse and will be held accountable for a possible return to civil war.

Former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara says African Union leaders meeting in Ethiopia Thursday endorsed his election and now believe incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo must leave power.

"We had a good meeting with the panel of heads of states and they reconfirmed that I am the president elected by the Ivorian People, and now it's a final decision so there is no way to go back on that. And at the same time they asked me if I could, in a framework of reconciliation, have a government which would take into account other parties and the civil society and try to find an honorable exit to for Laurent Gbabgo,” Ouattara said. “Obviously I accepted that because I want peace for Cote d'Ivoire."

Ouattara says he will now work to form a government for Ivory Coast that includes members of Gbagbo's party.

"It's a government that I will form which will include members of other parties that I will select,” he added. “It is different to say that it is a National Unity Government as if ministers will be opposed to me, that is not the case. So it will be a government where I will take the best people in Cote d'Ivoire to run a disaster situation because the situation is a....the economy is completely down and the social indicators are worse than we have seen since independence. So I want to have a strong team, a team of competent people from all parties and from the civil society but I will select them. Well Gbabgo will have an honorable exit and thereafter when he comes to see me we'll discuss that."

Gbagbo was invited to the talks in Ethiopia but refused to attend. His representative, Pascal N'guessan, says the African Union decision will not help resolve the crisis peacefully.

Nugessan says Africa and the African Union are contributing to the worsening situation in Ivory Coast, and will be accountable for an eventual civil war that could take place.

Gbagbo's government continues to insist that he was re-elected because a council of his allies annulled as fraudulent nearly ten percent of all ballots cast.

Nguessan says Gbagbo is open to all negotiations but will not accept anyone denying his victory without any reason or argument.

On his first trip outside Ivory Coast since November's vote Ouattara worked to solidify near-unanimous international support for his government in meetings with nearly 30 diplomats including representatives of the European Union, the United States, India, and Brazil.

He meets in Nigeria Friday with President Goodluck Jonathan who has led the push for West Africa's regional alliance to use force to drive Gbagbo from power.

Ouattara's return to Abidjan is complicated by the Gbagbo government banning United Nations flights over Ivorian airspace. Ouattara used a U.N. helicopter to leave the Abidjan resort hotel where he is guarded by U.N. peacekeepers.

The Secretary General's special representative for Ivory Coast, Young-jin Choi, says the United Nations does not recognize that flight ban because it does not recognize Gbagbo's government.

"We receive our mandate from the Security Council,” Choi said. “We were told to ensure our freedom of movement on land and in the air. We are going to do it."

Choi says the area of Abidjan controlled by militia loyal to Ouattara is growing. Gbagbo's government says U.N. peacekeepers are helping rebels. Choi says that is propaganda meant to incite further attacks against U.N. troops, which he says constitute war crimes.

You May Like

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Crowdfunding Helps Save Neil Armstrong's Spacesuit

Smithsonian turns to Kickstarter to raise more than $700,000 to help preserve the spacesuit worn by the first man to walk on the moon More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf 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.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs