News / Africa

Ivory Coast Leader Insists He is Rightful President

President Laurent Gbagbo speaks during an exclusive interview at his residence in Abidjan, 26 Dec 2010
President Laurent Gbagbo speaks during an exclusive interview at his residence in Abidjan, 26 Dec 2010

Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo is insisting he is the true president of the country, but said he would be willing for an international committee to re-examine the election results.

In a speech broadcast on state television Tuesday, Mr. Gbagbo defied a global barrage of criticism, saying he won the November election.

However, he said he did not want more bloodshed in his country and offered to allow envoys from world powers, including the African Union, the United Nations and the European Union, to form a panel to study the post-election crisis.

The international community has recognized Mr. Gbagbo's rival, Alassane Ouattara, as the winner of November's disputed poll.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Tuesday that Ivory Coast faces "a real risk" of return to civil war.

He accused forces loyal to Mr. Gbagbo of trying to blockade the U.N. mission there and said the situation could become critical within days.  He appealed to U.N. member states to help supplies reach the mission, which is guarding a hotel serving as headquarters to Mr. Ouattara.

The U.N. chief said there has been an alarming increase in violence in the past week and said the United Nations has confirmed that mercenaries are being recruited from neighboring countries.

The United Nations say more than 50 people have been killed in recent days and says it has received hundreds of reports of people being abducted from their homes by armed assailants in military uniforms.

Nigeria said Tuesday it evacuated families of diplomats serving in Abidjan because of the intensifying standoff. Reuters news agency quotes Nigeria's Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia as saying the Nigerian embassy in Abidjan was attacked.

In another development, the United States Tuesday imposed travel sanctions against Mr. Gbagbo and his supporters, following a similar move by the European Union on Monday.

U.S. officials say the travel sanctions are only the opening move in an international campaign that will steadily ratchet up the pressure on Mr. Gbagbo to accept the election results and leave the country.

West African leaders plan to hold an emergency summit Friday to discuss the political crisis in Ivory Coast. The Economic Community of West African States has already recognized Mr. Ouattara as the winner of last month's election and called for the Mr. Gbagbo to step down.

On Monday, the United Nations extended its peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast for another six months, defying a demand from Mr. Gbagbo that the troops leave immediately.

The U.N. refugee agency says the tension and instability have prompted about 6,000 Ivorians to flee to neighboring Liberia, with another 200 going to Guinea.

The presidential election was meant to restore stability to Ivory Coast, which is trying to recover from a 2002 civil war that left it divided into rebel and government-controlled areas.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid