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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid