News / USA

New Ivory Coast Ambassador Arrives in US

The new Ivory Coast ambassador in the United States Daouda Diabate said he was part of a team trying to get his bitterly divided country back on track
The new Ivory Coast ambassador in the United States Daouda Diabate said he was part of a team trying to get his bitterly divided country back on track
TEXT SIZE - +

A new Ivory Coast ambassador has arrived in the United States, as part of a diplomatic offensive by the internationally-recognized President-elect  Alassane Ouattara against incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo who is refusing to leave power.  

Daouda Diabate spoke to dozens of Ivorian nationals who gathered at the Embassy Suites hotel in Washington, shortly after he had landed at Dulles International airport.

He explained he was part of a team trying to get the cocoa-rich but divided and struggling Ivory Coast, known in French as Cote d'Ivoire, back on track.

"Cote d'Ivoire used to be qualified as an economic miracle in Africa and this is the kind of thing that we know that once again we can achieve. We have the people. We have the resources. We have the opportunities. We just need peace and stability and we just want to see the right man at the right place and do the job, with democracy, with good governance and all these things Cote d'Ivoire can come back to that kind of success," he said.

Diabate, a former ambassador to the United States under Mr. Gbagbo, was more recently ambassador in Brazil, before being appointed back to the United States by Mr. Ouattara.

After the reception, he rushed off to the State Department to finalize a process which he hopes will get him recognized by U.S. authorities and at work at the Ivory Coast embassy in Washington before the end of February.

Balla Sidibe, who recently led a protest of Ivory Coast nationals outside the White House, greeted the new ambassador's arrival, but said even if he gets to work in Washington, the battle remains in the Ivorian commercial capital Abidjan.

"We need to also acknowledge the fact that right now Cote d'Ivoire is being taken hostage by one individual that does not want to quit. He is a sore loser. His name is former President Gbagbo," Sidibe said.

One of the organizer's of Tuesday's event Toumani Sissoko was one of many who took time off work to attend.

He said he hopes the U.S. government will do more than just current economic sanctions to help oust Mr. Gbagbo, who remains in control of the army, ports and state media.

"I think the United States has to show force to Mr. Gbagbo without using it first. Showing force means the United States can bring some military, some aircraft, some boats, and all these things and show to Mr. Gbagbo we are ready to strike and Mr. Gbagbo knows how powerful the U.S. army is so he may leave," said Sissoko.

That option has not been raised publicly by U.S. officials who say Mr. Gbagbo stole the election. But officials from the West African regional grouping ECOWAS have raised the possibility of outside military intervention with a U.N. mandate as a last resort.

A panel of African heads of state recently mandated by the African Union sent negotiators to Abidjan this week as part of a new month-long mediation attempt.

Last year's much delayed U.N.-sponsored election which was supposed to reunite Ivory Coast, divided in two since 2002, has instead intensified divisions and led to dozens more deaths.

After national election commission officials gave the victory to Mr. Ouattara by a wide margin following the second round November run-off, the country's constitutional council threw out votes from the rebel-held north, erasing the first result and instead leaving the state's power in the hands of Mr. Gbagbo.  The incumbent has said any Ouattara diplomatic appointment is illegitimate and that he will reciprocate by forcing ambassadors to leave Ivory Coast.

Mr. Ouattara's appointment to the United Nations Youssoufou Bamba has already started working in New York, and was also present at Tuesday's event in Washington. Another Ouattara appointee, Ally Coulibaly, now heads the Ivorian embassy in the former colonial power France, even though he initially had to use the services of a locksmith to force his entry into the compound in Paris.

Calls to the Ivorian embassy in Washington on Tuesday to see if employees there would cooperate with the scheduled handover went unanswered.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid