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

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs