News / Africa

Gbagbo Suing West African Leaders for Recognizing Rival

Ivory Coast's political crisis has gone to court, with the incumbent president asking West African judges to annul a decision recognizing his rival as the winner of November's vote.  

Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo wants the regional Court of Justice to invalidate decisions by the Economic Community of West African States that recognize declarations by both Ivory Coast's electoral commission and the United Nations that former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara won the vote.

Attorney Mohammed Lamine Faye, who represents the Gbagbo government, says those decisions violate the supremacy of Ivory Coast's constitutional court, which declared Mr. Gbagbo the winner, after annulling as fraudulent nearly ten percent of all ballots cast. Faye says the decisions also violate United Nations resolutions on Ivory Coast.

Faye says the Gbagbo government is asking the regional court to find these decisions illegal, thus forcing regional leaders to suspend any actions connected to those pronouncements.

Regional leaders have threatened to use military force to remove Mr. Gbagbo, if he does not hand over power to Mr. Ouattara.

In a separate filing before the Abuja-based court, Nigerian attorney Godswill Mrakpor sought an order blocking the use of force by the regional alliance, which is known as ECOWAS.

"I have relatives in Ivory Coast," said Mrakpor . "If the Nigerian government or ECOWAS decide to use force against Laurent Gbagbo, I have friends in the Nigerian armed forces.  I have brothers in the Nigerian armed forces who will be mobilized and they can also lose their lives. So my interest is to ensure that there is peace in my region. It is a duty imposed on me by the African Charter."

Mrakpor says the actions of ECOWAS show it is no longer neutral.

"The people who ordinarily should have been the natural mediators, which is the ECOWAS, we feel that they have compromised their mediation capacity by hastily taking sides with Alassane Ouattara and then going a step further to issue an ultimatum and a threat of invading Ivory Coast in the event that Mr. Laurent Gbagbo refuses to step aside," he said.

ECOWAS Communications Director Sonny Ugoh says the lawsuits are a waste of time.

"The evidence before us is to the effect that Alassane Ouattara won the election, and that is the basis for all the decisions that heads of state have taken, and that is the position of ECOWAS," he said.

Ugoh said that Mr. Gbagbo had no problem with the first round of voting, because he won.  He says the incumbent president objects to the second-round run off because he lost.

"An election took place and both parties were satisfied with the process. That same process was replicated in the run-off. So I don't see why anybody would suddenly wake up and decide to change the goalposts at the end of the match," he said.

Ugoh says ECOWAS leaders stand firm in their conviction that Alassane Ouattara is Ivory Coast's duly-elected leader.

"There is a consensus about the results except for one person who said he won.  Don't suggest that the whole international community is wrong, including ECOWAS.  We had observers there.  The EU had observers there.  Everybody who cared had observers there. And, we were unanimous in saying that this is the outcome," he said.

The Court of Justice adjourned all the legal challenges until March 10.  Five heads of state from the African Union meet Sunday in Mauritania to discuss how best to resolve the political crisis.  




You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
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 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