News / Africa

Incumbent Ivory Coast President Expels British, Canadian Ambassadors

Laurent Gbagbo (file photo)
Laurent Gbagbo (file photo)

Ivory Coast's incumbent president is expelling the British and Canadian ambassadors after their countries withdrew recognition of his envoys. International pressure on the incumbent president is growing as the Obama administration has frozen his assets.

Incumbent government spokesman Ahoua Don Mello says Canadian ambassador Marie Isabelle Massip and United Kingdom ambassador Nicholas James Westcott are no longer welcome in Ivory Coast.

In an announcement on state-run television, the spokesman said the ambassadors are no longer recognized by the government of incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo through principles of reciprocity concerning diplomatic relations after the Canadian and British governments announced they would no longer recognize Gbagbo emissaries.

The European Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, and the United States say Mr. Gbagbo should hand over power to the internationally-recognized winner of November's vote, former prime minister Alassane Ouattara.

The U.S. Treasury Department is banning U.S. citizens from business deals with Mr.  Gbagbo, his wife Simone, and three top aides including foreign minister Alcide Djedje. All of their assets within U.S. jurisdiction are now frozen.

In a written statement, the director of the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control says Mr. Gbagbo continues to demonstrate wanton disregard for the will and well-being of his people. Adam Szubin says the ban will isolate Mr. Gbagbo from the financial system and underscores the desire of the international community that he step down.

Mr. Gbagbo appears to have no intention of leaving office, saying he won re-election because the constitutional council annulled as fraudulent nearly ten percent of all ballots cast. Mr. Gbagbo chaired his first cabinet meeting of the year Thursday, focusing on security and the economy.

Mr. Ouattara meanwhile remained secluded at an Abidjan resort hotel where he is guarded by U.N. peacekeepers. The head of that force wants the Security Council to send as many as 2,000 additional troops to Ivory Coast in the next few weeks to help resolve this political crisis.

But Mr. Gbagbo says all of the nearly 10,000 U.N. peacekeepers who are already here must leave because they have lost the confidence of civilians.

Foreign minister Djedje says peacekeepers are interfering in Ivory Coast's internal affairs.

Djedje says the United Nations mission in Ivory Coast has deviated from its original role and is now acting in complicity with rebels. Djedje says the Gbagbo government can not accept that and no longer trusts U.N. peacekeepers, so they must leave.

The spokesman for the United Nations mission in Ivory Coast says 210 people have been killed since the disputed election, including 14 deaths this week in a western province that the U.N. says are not necessarily a direct result of the ongoing political crisis.

Mr. Ouattara says he still believes the situation can be resolved peacefully.

Mr. Ouattara told U.N. radio here that the results of the election were clear and were certified by the United Nations. Laurent Gbagbo lost the vote, and Mr. Ouattara says his claim to the presidency based on a ruling by the constitutional council is without merit.

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
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.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs