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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


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