News / Africa

UN Peacekeepers Want More Troops for Ivory Coast

An U.N. peacekeeper in Ivory Coast stands guard by an UN helicopter used to transport officials and journalists from UNOCI headquarters to the Hotel du Golf, the temporary headquarters of Alassane Ouattara, in Abidjan, 3 Jan 2011
An U.N. peacekeeper in Ivory Coast stands guard by an UN helicopter used to transport officials and journalists from UNOCI headquarters to the Hotel du Golf, the temporary headquarters of Alassane Ouattara, in Abidjan, 3 Jan 2011

The United Nations says it needs more troops in Ivory Coast to resolve a political crisis between the internationally-recognized winner of the country's presidential election and the incumbent leader who refuses to yield power.

The head of United Nations peacekeeping says he will ask the Security Council for as many as 2,000 additional troops for Ivory Coast. And Alain Le Roy says he hopes those soldiers will arrive here in the next few weeks.

The current force of nearly 10,000 troops is deployed throughout the country, including parts of the north that are still controlled by former rebels who back Alassane Ouattara.

U.N. peacekeepers are also guarding a resort hotel in Abidjan that Mr. Ouattara has not left since Ivory Coast's electoral commission declared him the winner of November's election. Incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo says he is the winner because the constitutional council annulled as fraudulent nearly ten percent of all ballots cast.

The Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, the European Union and the United States say Mr. Ouattara is the duly-elected president and Mr. Gbagbo must step down.

Mr. Gbagbo wants the entire U.N. peacekeeping force to leave Ivory Coast because he says it no longer has the confidence of the people.

U.N. peacekeepers would be compelled to leave a country at the head of state's request, as they did this past year in Chad. But the United Nations no longer recognizes Mr. Gbabgo's authority and has seated in New York a new Ivorian ambassador named by Mr. Ouattara.

Following talks with West African heads of state in Abidjan this week, Mr. Gbagbo agreed to negotiate a peaceful end to the crisis without preconditions. But the regional alliance says that does not remove its threat to use force to drive him from power.

James Gbeho is the president of the ECOWAS alliance. He says regional leaders understand the difficulties in mounting such a force but will not hesitate to do so if the crisis can not be resolved peacefully. "We, of course, are aware of the dangers in the force option particularly in a country like Cote d'Ivoire where almost all citizens and ethnic groups of our ECOWAS region are represented. And so it is an option that must be used with a lot of circumspection. But if push comes to shove, that is what is going to be used," he said.

Mr. Ouattara says regional military intervention would not lead to a large-scale conflict because the operation would only need to remove one person, Mr. Gbagbo.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
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.

VOA Blogs