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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid