News / Africa

Gbagbo Backers Threaten Opposition at Abidjan Hotel

A UN soldier stands guard outside the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, 30 Dec 2010
A UN soldier stands guard outside the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, 30 Dec 2010
TEXT SIZE - +
Anne Look

A militant youth leader for incumbent Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, is calling on supporters to seize the Abidjan hotel currently serving as a base for U.N.-endorsed election winner, Alassane Ouattara.

The United Nations and much of the international community say Ivorian opposition leader, Alassane Ouattara, won last month's presidential poll. Incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, refuses to step down despite international sanctions, mounting diplomatic pressure and threats of regional military action.

Gbagbo minister and leader of the militant group, the "Young Patriots," Charles Ble Goude, told an Ivorian newspaper Thursday that Mr. Ouattara has until January 1st to leave the Abidjan hotel where Mr. Ouattara has set up his rival government under the protection of U.N. peacekeepers and former rebel fighters.

Ble Goude, who has urged supporters to fight to the death to keep Mr. Gbagbo in power, is calling for a "bare-handed" attack on the hotel.

Like Mr. Gbagbo, Ble-Goude accuses foreigners of threatening Ivory Coast's sovereignty.

Addressing a rally in Abidjan Wednesday, Ble-Goude says outside military intervention would be suicide for Africa. He says he hopes wisdom will prevail and emotions will be set aside in the interest of Africa. He says we want to find a solution but, as we have been saying since 2002, it is not a military solution. He says the only way is negotiation.

Analysts, however, say the window for a diplomatic solution is narrowing.

An ECOWAS delegation gave Mr. Gbagbo an ultimatum Tuesday that he leave peacefully or be removed by force, but returned to Abuja empty-handed with more talks planned for Monday.

Many doubt West African nations have the logistical capabilities, troops or political will for a military intervention and worry that any attempt at a forceful removal could trigger open conflict and reprisals on West African nationals living in Ivory Coast.

Ble-Goude held his rally in the same Abidjan neighborhood where a U.N. peacekeeper was injured Tuesday when a large crowd attacked a U.N. convoy with machetes.

U.N. peacekeeping chief, Alain LeRoy, says he is concerned by declarations broadcast on Gbagbo-controlled state television that the U.N. says are aimed at inciting violence against the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast. He says Tuesday's attack was a direct result of the appeals to hatred, lies and anti-U.N. propaganda on state TV.

The United Nations says its 10,000-member peacekeeping force will remain in Ivory Coast, despite Mr. Gbagbo's demands it withdraw.

The United Nations says post-electoral violence has killed more than 170 people.

Human rights groups accuse armed groups loyal to Mr. Gbagbo of extra-judicial killings, kidnappings and torture since the election, though Mr. Gbagbo's camp denies the allegations.

Youssoufou Bamba is Mr. Ouattara's newly appointed Ivory Coast ambassador to the United Nations.

"The real concern of President Ouattara regarding the situation of human rights, as you know there is a massive violation of human rights between the 16th and 21st," Bamba said. "172 people killed only because they want to demonstrate, they want to speak out, they want to defend the will of the people. We think it's unacceptable. Thus, one of the messages I try to get across during the conversations I have conducted so far, is to tell we are on the brink of genocide. Something should be done."

Many fear the tense political gridlock could re-ignite a 2002-2003 civil war.

The United States has begun planning for the evacuation of its embassy in Abidjan should widespread conflict break out.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid