News / Africa

Ivorian Diplomat Urges World to “Listen” to President’s Concerns

Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, center, gestures during a photo opportunity with his newly-named cabinet, with Prime Minister N'Gbo Gilbert Marie Ake, front left, at the presidency in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Dec 7, 2010
Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, center, gestures during a photo opportunity with his newly-named cabinet, with Prime Minister N'Gbo Gilbert Marie Ake, front left, at the presidency in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Dec 7, 2010


  • Ambassador Yao Gnamien, a special advisor to embattled Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

A special advisor to embattled Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo told VOA there have been several indications the international community is interfering in Ivory Coast’s internal affairs, following the disputed 28th November presidential run-off vote.

Ambassador Yao Gnamien accused the international community, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of failing to “carefully listen” to Mr. Gbagbo’s concerns following the results of last month’s election.

Mr. Gbagbo told a state newspaper Friday that he wants to “sit down and talk” with his political rival about the situation. But, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara said Saturday that Mr. Gbagbo must first accept that he lost the election.

Supporters of Mr. Ouattara demanded Mr. Gbagbo resign before any negotiations to resolve the ongoing political impasse. But, this was rejected by Gbagbo aides.

“If we want to have good negotiations, nobody can say that President Gbagbo must resign because President Gbagbo has been declared president of Cote d’Ivoire by our Constitutional Court, which is really the same case in most of the African countries, (and) even in most developed countries. So, the main thing we have to follow is the rule of law,” said Ambassador Gnamien.

Earlier, an aide to Mr. Gbagbo said western envoys are trying to sway the army to support Mr. Ouattara. Interior minister Emile Guirieoulou said western envoys in Abidjan have approached senior Ivorian army officers with the goal of finding soldiers and police to back Mr. Ouattara.

Guirieoulou said Mr. Gbagbo's government “will not tolerate meddling” by outsiders in Ivory Coast's internal affairs.

Ambassador Gnamien said it is wrong for the international community to infringe on what he described as Ivory Coast’s sovereignty.

“When you have a dispute, first of all you have to listen to the two parties. We feel that the international community did not do it. They just took the version of the supporters of former Prime Minister Ouattara and they made their decision. What we are asking for is that (they) will listen to both parties so that we can make the final decision at the level of the international community,” said Ambassador Gnamien.

“If the international community wants to take its responsibility, it has to analyze the two points of view and to see which point of view is supported by the national law, by the constitution of Ivory Coast.”

Meanwhile, President Gbagbo is facing increasing international pressure to hand over power.

The U.N. Security Council, African Union, and Economic Community of West African States have all said Mr. Ouattara won last month's election.  The United States has threatened sanctions against Mr. Gbagbo and his close supporters.

You May Like

Al Jazeera Trial Tests Egypt's Courts

Once seen as a 'mud fight' between Egypt and Qatar, trial and sudden release of an imprisoned Egyptian-American activist raises questions about justice being less harsh to foreigners than its citizens More

Video FIFA President’s Resignation Puts World Soccer on Uncharted Grounds

US media say FBI is investigating Sepp Blatter; FIFA's decision to award the next two World Cups to Russia and Qatar may also come under new scrutiny More

Video Ex-Im Bank Supporters, Critics Head for Congressional Showdown

Controversial government agency intended to boost US exports and jobs could go out of business at the end of June unless Congress takes action 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.
Relatives Call for Release of American Captives in Irani
June 02, 2015 10:24 PM
Relatives of Americans held captive or missing in Iran are calling on the Obama administration to press for their release during nuclear negotiations with Tehran. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

Video Relatives Call for Release of American Captives in Iran

Relatives of Americans held captive or missing in Iran are calling on the Obama administration to press for their release during nuclear negotiations with Tehran. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

Video Artist Creates Empathy with the Pain of Separated Families

Wars, conflicts and disasters often result in the tragic separation of families and loved ones. And there are millions of victims around the world. Internationally-known Korean artist Eunshook Lee focuses on these torn-apart families through her unique black-light installations. VOA’s June Soh reports.

Video Texas Floods Test Agencies' Ability to Coordinate in Emergency

The recent floods in Texas have demonstrated the value of emergency management systems to coordinate the efforts of local, state and federal government agencies as well as private relief groups. VOA’s Greg Flakus filed this report from Houston on how the system worked during recent flooding.

Video UN Appeals For $500 Million to Fund Aid In Iraq

The United Nations will launch an appeal this week at the European Parliament for $500 million to support humanitarian aid operations in Iraq. U.N. officials say the existing programs in Iraq are running out of funds at a time when many more Iraqis are getting displaced and need help. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Heat-resistant Glassware Celebrates 100th Anniversary

One hundred years ago, a new brand of kitchenware named Pyrex entered the American market, firmly imprinting its name into the psyche of consumers. It is still being manufactured while the early models are now collectors’ items. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Rescue Teams Try to Save Wildlife Affected by California Oil Spill

Dead animals have been found almost daily since a pipeline failed May 19, releasing thousands of gallons of crude oil into the ocean and beaches of central California, but rescue workers are trying their best to save stricken creatures. From SeaWorld San Diego, the primary care facility for mammals covered in oil, VOA's Elizabeth Lee reports.

Video Legends of the Blues

As blues legend BB King is laid to rest in his hometown, Indianola, Mississippi, fans around the world are keeping his legacy and his music alive. Some of the musicians who played with King and other notable performers put out a recording under the name Original Legends of the Blues. Meet them and hear their music in this report written, narrated and directed by VOA Houston correspondent Greg Flakus.

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs