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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.