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
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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs