News / Africa

Ivory Coast UN Ambassador Seeks More Pressure on Gbagbo

The Ivory Coast ambassador to the United Nations, Youssouf Bamba, who was in Washington this week, urged for more decisive pressure against incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, February 10, 2011
The Ivory Coast ambassador to the United Nations, Youssouf Bamba, who was in Washington this week, urged for more decisive pressure against incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, February 10, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Nico Colombant

The Ivory Coast ambassador to the United Nations is calling for more international pressure to make incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo cede power. The Ivorian diplomat warned the situation could turn more violent if outside help is insufficient to force out Gbagbo.

Youssouf Bamba was the first appointee by internationally-recognized President Alassane Ouattara to take up a diplomatic posting following last year's disputed election between Ouattara and Gbagbo.

Economic sanctions by the European Union, the Economic Community of West African states, or ECOWAS, and the United States against Gbagbo and his government have since been applied, but Bamba would like to see all U.N. member states follow suit.

"As long as Mr. Gbagbo clings to power, it is not enough," said Bamba. "Pressure should still be mounting until he steps down. He has to understand he cannot wrestle himself against the whole world. His stubbornness is suicidal. And, unfortunately, he is doing so much harm to the Ivorian people. One other thing I have to mention since I have the opportunity to speak - there is the situation of human rights. Mr. Gbagbo has to stop killing his people."

While Bamba was in Washington, the United Nations reported that there have been 296 deaths in post-election violence in Ivory Coast since mid-December.

In some neighborhoods of the southern commercial capital, Abidjan, crude letter markings have been scrawled outside homes and businesses, identifying some of Ouattara’s supporters by their northern or central ethnic groups as potential  targets.

Bamba said the climate of intimidation is one reason there have not been massive demonstrations like in Egypt or Tunisia.

"The military of Mr. Gbagbo, they are so cruel. If the demonstration is staged, the eve, the very night, they will go to the houses of people to try to kill them," said Bamba.

Gbagbo denies any responsibility in the recent violence and says he won a run-off presidential election in November, as ruled by the country’s constitutional council. That body threw out votes from the rebel-held north and overturned results announced by the national election commission that were certified by the United Nations.

The election was meant to reunite a country divided in two since 2002, but instead it has exacerbated tensions.

Gbagbo and his supporters say they are the victims of an international conspiracy against them.

ECOWAS officials have threatened to use force to remove Gbagbo, who remains in control of Ivory Coast's state media and the army.

Ambassador Bamba said he hopes that an international military buildup can avert further bloodshed and force Gbagbo to leave office.

"Ivorian people used to be rural people. As peasants they are very patient and they wait until they are convinced there is no other way and they will throw everything in this battle. But until then, we are still hoping that the mediation will bring an outcome, an outcome in the sense that Mr. Gbagbo will accept to go, to step down. But if the Ivorian people are convinced there is no other way than that, they will act, believe me," said Bamba.

In December, pro-Gbagbo security forces quickly crushed attempts by Ouattara's supporters to take over government buildings.

Ouattara’s prime minister, Guillaume Soro, also is the leader of the rebels who control the north of Ivory Coast, as well as the perimeter of the hotel where the U.N.-recognized president is staying. U.N. peacekeepers and a French rapid reaction force also are on the ground.

Bamba said a panel of African heads of state mandated by the African Union recently gave Gbagbo one month to leave office.

The U.N. ambassador says a power-sharing government, such as what came about through outside mediation in recent years following violent elections in Kenya and Zimbabwe, is not an option.

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf 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.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
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.

VOA Blogs