News / Africa

    Gbagbo Supporters Say Regional Leaders Bluffing About Military Intervention

    Laurent Gbagbo (Dec 2010 file photo)
    Laurent Gbagbo (Dec 2010 file photo)

    Ivory Coast's incumbent government says it is not intimidated by threats to be removed from power by a regional intervention force. West African leaders have replaced the head of the region's central bank to further isolate the incumbent president in favor of the internationally-recognized winner of November's vote.

    Supporters of Ivory Coast's incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo say threats of a regional military force to remove Mr. Gbagbo are part of an elaborate bluff to force him from power and install the United Nations certified winner of the presidential election, former prime minister Alassane Ouattara.

    No legal standing

    Gbagbo spokesman Ahoua Don Mello says regional leaders know they have no legal standing to raise such a force against an incumbent government.

    Don Mello says no foreign army can legally attack Ivory Coast. If West African leaders want to go with the use of force or make a declaration of war, then what have they achieved? he asks. Are they going to declare war? Don Mello says it is all a bluff.

    Military intervention

    Ivory Coast is home to many civilians from countries likely to contribute to a regional force, and West African leaders say they are mindful that their citizens might then be attacked by pro-Gbagbo militants. The army's continued loyalty to Mr. Gbagbo further raises the risks of  military intervention.

    Army Chief of Staff, General Philippe Mangou, told a Gbagbo rally Sunday that soldiers will never desert Mr. Gbagbo.

    Mangou says the army has told everyone that, having been in the field, soldiers do not want war because they have destructive weapons and know their effects.

    Isolation

    While continuing to discuss a regional intervention force, West African leaders are moving to further isolate Mr. Gbagbo economically.

    They announced last month that they were cutting Mr. Gbagbo's access to Ivorian accounts at the regional central bank. But the Gbagbo government continued to use state funds, chiefly because central bank governor Philippe Henri Dacoury-Tabley is a Gbagbo ally.

    When West African leaders finally forced Tabley to resign at an emergency meeting in Mali Saturday they said Mr. Ouattara will name Tabley's replacement.

    Gbagbo spokesman Don Mello says Mr. Gbagbo is ignoring the central bank move.

    Mello says the Gbagbo government does not recognize the decision taken by heads of state in Mali, and the central bank branch in Abidjan is still under its control. Mello says the Gbagbo government is prepared to withstand any economic sanctions.

    He adds that the Gbagbo government has long-anticipated all possible decisions that regional leaders could take against it. He says the proof of that preparation is that government salaries have already been paid.

    Sanctions

    The European Union has frozen the assets of Ivory Coast's main cocoa ports, its state oil firm, its main energy utility, its national broadcaster, and three banks because European leaders say those firms are helping to fund what they call an illegitimate government.

    The U.S. treasury has frozen Mr. Gbagbo's accounts and banned Americans from doing business with his government.

    Mr. Gbagbo's government says those economic sanctions will hurt foreign businesses more than Ivorians because they can buy manufactured goods from Asia and South America, but there is nowhere else in the world that has as much cocoa as Ivory Coast.

    Gbagbo supporters are mocking Mr. Ouattara's call for a month-long ban on cocoa exports because the Gbagbo government controls Ivory Coast's cocoa fields, its ports, and the security to guarantee delivery while Mr. Ouattara is secluded in an Abidjan resort hotel guarded by U.N. peacekeepers.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    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.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    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 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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora