News / Africa

AU Prepares Report on Ivory Coast Crisis

Women carrying loads on their heads walk past a burnt-out bus in Abobo, an Alassane Ouattara stronghold in Abidjan, February 8, 2011
Women carrying loads on their heads walk past a burnt-out bus in Abobo, an Alassane Ouattara stronghold in Abidjan, February 8, 2011

African Union officials in Ivory Coast are preparing to report back to a heads-of-state panel charged with resolving the political crisis.  Ivory Coast's incumbent government says the mediation shows that West African leaders have failed in their push to promote the internationally-recognized winner of the presidential election.  

African Union officials have been in Abidjan this week, meeting with representatives of incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and the United-Nations-certified winner of November's vote, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara.

Those officials will draft a report for review by the leaders of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, South Africa, and Tanzania, who have been asked by the African Union to come up with a way to resolve Ivory Coast's political crisis by the end of the month.

West African leaders say widespread support for Mr. Ouattara is slipping because some heads of state are now backing Mr. Gbagbo. 

"The solidarity that started amongst us and in the international community is fast being eroded because certain countries have taken sides and therefore are disagreeing with the decision already taken," said James Gbeho, who chairs the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS.

Gbagbo advisor Yao Gnamien says the African Union mediation shows ECOWAS has failed.

"The ECOWAS failed to solve the problem.  How can they sanction President Gbagbo without listening to him?  They were thinking that President Gbagbo has not been elected.  Instead of saying that, they should have come to investigate first," said Gnamien.

Gnamien told VOA that the African Union will clearly show that Mr. Gbagbo won re-election.

"The stay of the experts in Cote d'Ivoire will tell all the world what was going on in Cote d'Ivoire after the election, and then we will see whether the president is guilty or not," he said.

But Gnamien says the African Union panel must not question the legitimacy of the constitutional counsel decision that is the basis of Mr. Gbagbo's re-election. The counsel annulled as fraudulent nearly ten percent of all ballots cast, reversing electoral commission results that declared Mr. Ouattara the winner.

It is true that the constitutional counsel is historically the final legal authority on Ivorian elections.  But for this vote, under a peace plan signed by Mr. Gbagbo, the United Nations must certify the outcome. U.N. representative Young-jin Choi certified Mr. Ouattara.

Christian Preda led the European Union observer mission to Ivory Coast's election.

"Mr. Choi, the special representative of the secretary general of the United Nations said clearly that the results announced by the electoral commission were the final result and this is, as you know, the position of the international community with some exceptions, the international community accepted this result," said Preda.

One of those exceptions is Russia, which has blocked Security Council resolutions endorsing Mr. Ouattara. In a meeting this week with Senegal's foreign minister, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the international community must not impose itself on Ivorian democracy.

Lavrov says forced outside interference in the electoral process is absolutely unacceptable and could destabilize all of West Africa.  He says the international community cannot create such a bad precedent that could be used every time someone is unhappy with an election.

ECOWAS leaders are considering military force to remove Mr. Gbagbo, and Gbeho says they reserve the right to act independently of any African Union decision.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs