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

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    Carry-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society, so here's the deal with pizza, Chinese food and what racism has to do with taking food to go

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora