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

Nearly Every Job in America Mapped in Detail

A nifty map pinpoints practically every job in the United States, revealing the economic character of America’s metropolitan areas, which also helps to inform the local culture

Corruption Busting Is Her Game

South African activist is building 'international online community of thousands of corruption fighters'

Former SAF Businessman Gives Books, Love of Reading to Students

Steve Tsakaris now involved in nonprofit Read to Rise, which distributes books in Soweto, encourages lower-grade primary school students to read

This forum has been closed.
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.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs