News / Africa

    Ivorian Supporters say They Will 'Fight to Death' for Gbagbo

    Ivory Coast policemen stand guard during a youth rally in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 20 Dec 2010
    Ivory Coast policemen stand guard during a youth rally in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 20 Dec 2010

    Supporters of incumbent Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, say they are ready to fight to the death to keep him in power, while the United Nations points to growing evidence of "massive violations of human rights" since last month's disputed presidential election.

    In Ivory Coast, incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refuses to cede power to Alassane Ouattara, who was recognized by the United Nations and much of the international community as the winner of the November 28 presidential run-off.

    The United Nations is reporting a wave of killings and abductions since the poll.  U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay issued a statement Sunday saying more than 50 people have been killed and more than 200 injured in violence since Thursday.

    The announcement came a day after the United Nations said it would not abide by Mr. Gbagbo's demand that U.N. peacekeepers withdraw from the country.

    Charles Ble Goude, recently named as the minister of youth and employment in Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo's government, speaks at a news conference in Abidjan, 14 Dec 2010
    Charles Ble Goude, recently named as the minister of youth and employment in Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo's government, speaks at a news conference in Abidjan, 14 Dec 2010

    Gbagbo's supporters, led by militant youth leader Charles Ble Goude, accuse foreigners of threatening Ivory Coast's sovereignty and have vowed to fight to the death to keep Mr. Gbagbo in power.

    Africa security analyst J. Peter Pham of the New York-based National Committee on American Foreign Policy says the situation is entering a critical phase.

    "On a strategic level, it certainly does not help Gbagbo to create the chaos which might justify an armed international intervention," said Pham. "In fact, his endgame might be to maintain the political pressure but actually stop short of the threshold that would provoke an intervention.  Now, whether he can maintain that balance, I think, is the key question for the next several days and weeks."

    Regional efforts at mediation and threats of international sanctions have done little to ease the political gridlock that looks increasingly close to plunging the country back into a civil war that in 2002-2003 split the country between a rebel-held north and a government-held south.

    International Crisis Group's Ivory Coast analyst, Rinaldo Depagne, says there is no negotiation on the horizon and the situation could disintegrate into an intense conflict in the days, weeks or months ahead.  He says there is not much to negotiate, other than the departure of Gbabgo, who has carried out what Depagne calls an institutional coup d'etat.

    Depagne said failed official disarmament and subsequent unofficial rearmament on both sides since the 2007 Ouagadougou peace accords makes current tensions all the more dangerous.

    A spokesman for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast will fulfill its mandate and warned that "any attack on U.N. forces will be an attack on the international community and those responsible for these actions will be held accountable."

    The U.N. Security Council is set to meet to discuss the mandate of the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast, which is to expire December 31st and currently charges the peacekeeping mission to protect civilians.  Ouattara's camp has called for the U.N. mission's mandate to be renewed and strengthened.

    The European Union has agreed to ban Mr. Gbagbo and 18 of his allies.  ECOWAS and the African Union have suspended Ivory Coast. The United States and Canada have threatened sanctions.

    The United States has advised Americans not to travel to Ivory Coast and ordered non-emergency staff out of the country, citing the deteriorating situation and what it called "growing anti-western sentiment."  

    Original electoral commission results said Mr. Ouattara won the run-off election with 54 percent of the votes, but the constitutional court, which is led by a Gbagbo ally, annulled 10 percent of ballots as fraudulent and proclaimed Mr. Gbagbo the winner with 51 percent.

    Both men have set up rival governments and have the support of rival armed forces. Gbagbo controls state media and government buildings under the protection of government troops, while Ouattara's government is based out of an Abidjan hotel under the protection of U.N. peacekeepers and former rebel fighters.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora