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

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years 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.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs