News / Africa

African Union Sends Mbeki to Mediate Ivory Coast Presidential Crisis

Former South African president Thabo Mbeki (L) meets with presidential election candidate Alassane Ouattara (R) during their meeting in Abidjan, 05 Dec 2010
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki (L) meets with presidential election candidate Alassane Ouattara (R) during their meeting in Abidjan, 05 Dec 2010

Ivory Coast is in political crisis with both of its presidential candidates taking rival oaths of office based on competing election results. Former South African leader Thabo Mbeki met on Sunday with both would-be presidents in hopes of resolving the stand-off.

The African Union says Mr. Mbeki's emergency mission is meant to find a legitimate and peaceful solution to the crisis.

The former South African president says he is here to better understand what is going on in a country that now has two men who say they are president. "What we are doing now is to talk to everybody to try and get a direct understanding of the situation in Cote d'Ivoire," he said.

Laurent Gbagbo took an oath of office on Saturday on the basis of the constitutional council awarding him 51 percent of the vote after disqualifying  as fraudulent nearly 10 percent of all of the ballots cast.

Alassane Ouattara also took an oath of office Saturday, but based of the electoral commission awarding him 54 percent of the vote. Those results were certified by the United Nations in keeping with a 2007 peace deal.

Senior military officers who control southern regions support Mr. Gbagbo. Former rebels who still control most northern regions back Mr. Ouattara.

Mr. Ouattara says he met with Mr. Mbeki on Sunday as the rightful president of Ivory Coast. Mr. Ouattara says he asked the former South African leader to ask Mr. Gbagbo to give up power because he lost the election.

Mr. Ouattara's claim to the presidency is backed by Burkina Faso, Nigeria, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union.

Mr. Gbagbo called foreign support for Mr. Ouattara interference that threatens Ivory Coast's sovereignty.

Mr. Gbagbo's resistance to international opinion might complicate Mr. Mbeki's mission because the African Union also has recognized electoral commission results that say Mr. Gbabgo lost.  In a written statement, the African Union warned against undermining the electoral process and the will of the people, saying that could lead to a "crisis of incalculable consequences."

Mr. Ouattara's would-be government has named 13 new ministers, including the former rebel leader and interim Prime Minister Guillaume Soro as the new prime minister and defense minister.

Soldiers are manning roadblocks across Abidjan.  The country is under an overnight curfew.  Foreign news broadcasts are suspended indefinitely.

U.N. agencies met Sunday to discuss the evacuation of all staff because of the deteriorating security situation. They are expected to make a decision on evacuation on Monday.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid