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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs