News / Africa

    Ivory Coast Without Government for a Week, Tensions Mount

    Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo (R) speaks with Prime Minister Guillaume Soro before a meeting at the presidential palace in Yamoussoukro, 18 Feb 2010
    Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo (R) speaks with Prime Minister Guillaume Soro before a meeting at the presidential palace in Yamoussoukro, 18 Feb 2010

    Ivorians continue to wait for Prime Minister Guillaume Soro to announce a new government, as violence and political unrest mount in the country's interior.

    Ivory Coast has been without a government for a week now, since President Laurent Gbagbo dissolved it and the independent electoral commission last Friday, further deepening a political crisis over alleged fraud in the country's voter list.

    Mr. Gbagbo had accused the electoral commission of approving a voter list containing almost half a million foreigners.

    Leaving a meeting with Mr. Gbagbo Thursday in the country's capital, Yamoussoukro, the prime minister said the president had agreed to give him until Saturday to declare a new government.

    He says he and the president want peace and are in the process of finding the means to achieve that peace and a way for all Ivorians to come together calmly in the construction of a lasting peace. He asks Ivorians to remain not only calm but also hopeful. He says they will do everything necessary so that no one will be left out and so that Ivory Coast will emerge from this crisis.

    A coalition of opposition parties says it no longer recognizes Mr. Gbagbo as head of state and will not take part in the new government.

    Opposition leaders called on their supporters to take to the streets in protest and say they will not negotiate with the prime minister until the original electoral commission is reinstated.

    Opposition members have dismissed Mr. Gbagbo's fraud accusations against the electoral commission and his dissolution of the government as an attempt to stall the country's long-delayed presidential elections to remain in power.

    But Ivorian presidential advisor, Lambert Bahi Sery, told Voice of America the president acted within his constitutional rights in dissolving the government and electoral commission in the hopes of getting Ivory Coast back on track to holding free and transparent elections this year.

    The presidential poll is an attempt to find a lasting political solution to nearly a decade of internal conflict, but it has been pushed back several times since Mr. Gbagbo's mandate ran out in 2005.

    Frustration over the current political crisis and increased electricity cuts have erupted into demonstrations around Ivory Coast.

    Thousands have taken to the streets in the last week. Though the protests have remained for the large part peaceful, some have turned violent, marked by acts of vandalism and protestors blocking roads and burning tires.

    In Mr. Gbagbo's hometown, Gagnoa, in central Ivory Coast, opposition sources say three protesters were killed and several were wounded Friday when security forces opened fire.

    Ivory Coast's military chief, General Philippe Mangou, said security forces would defend the state against civil unrest but has encouraged his forces to act in accordance with the law.

    International pressure continues to mount for Ivory Coast to resolve the crisis and move forward in the electoral process.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora