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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
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 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 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.

VOA Blogs