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

Russia Names US NGO 'Undesirable'

Prosecutors determine activities of National Endowment for Democracy to be 'undesirable,' paving the way for it to be outlawed on Russian territory More

Erdogan Vows 'Anti-Terror' Campaign in Syria, Iraq

Erdogan expressed confidence the 'necessary steps' will be taken by NATO leaders, who will meet Tuesday at Turkey's request More

North Korea: 'No Interest at All' in Nuke Deal

Senior US envoy Sydney Seiler visits Beijing Tuesday for talks on how to revive the stalled six-party nuclear talks with North Korea More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs