News / USA

Ouattara Appointment Takes Embassy Reins for Ivory Coast in US

Foreign embassies have become proxy battlegrounds for the two rival presidents in Ivory Coast.
Foreign embassies have become proxy battlegrounds for the two rival presidents in Ivory Coast.

Ivorian immigrants and embassy staff in the United States have welcomed the installation of a new ambassador appointed by the president-elect of Ivory Coast Alassane Ouattara.  The Wednesday night ceremony came amid increasing violence in the Ivorian commercial capital Abidjan, where incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo remains in control of the army.

Far from the ongoing violence in the pro-Ouattara neighborhood of Abobo in Abidjan, musicians in Washington played drums to greet the arrival of the new ambassador Daouda Diabate inside the embassy compound.

Diabate arrived shortly after receiving his new credentials at the White House. He called on all embassy staff to work for Ivory Coast, and said he was confident Mr. Ouattara could soon fully assume the presidency.

An Ivorian national who travelled from New York to attend, Fofana Karamoko, called the day historic.
He said Diabate who had previously been ambassador under Mr. Gbagbo in the United States and more recently in Brazil was courageous in deciding to serve for Mr. Ouattara. "This occasion is very specific for us because of the situation in the Ivory Coast. We are here today to support him, to let him know that Ivorian people are proud to welcome him in this embassy," he said.

Another Ivorian identified himself as Bloomberg, and the so-called mayor of Ivorians in New York. He said he also felt proud of Diabate but wanted non-Ivorians to start helping as well.

"We have a new president and we are going to have new ambassadors for everywhere in the world so that is why he is here now.  We would like to see the U.S. President Obama or anybody to take care of Ivory Coast to help people from Ivory Coast to be better," he said.

Sirima Doumbia, a mechanic in the United States, said it was difficult to celebrate when his own neighborhood of Abobo back home was undergoing so much violence. "It is very, very hard, because family and friends are there and they cannot sleep, they cannot go anywhere because they keep bombing them. That is not nice. Laurent Gbagbo must stop, he must stop the killing. He lost the elections. He needs to leave," he said.

Several security forces on Mr. Gbagbo's side have also been killed in recent firefights, prompting hundreds of people to flee the Abobo area and sparking fears a long-dormant civil war may resume. Top ranking military officials said they were securing the area.

The current crisis started after the Ivory Coast constitutional council cancelled voting from the rebel-held north of Ivory Coast, overturning election results released by the national election commission and certified by the United Nations giving victory to Mr. Ouattara.

The incumbent president has said he will not recognize visas issued from embassies where Mr. Ouattara's envoys start work.  In France, where a Ouattara appointee had to change the locks to enter the premises, visas are being issued from other locations by Gbagbo allies.

In addition to diplomatic pressure, the Ouattara side is also trying to strangle Mr. Gbagbo economically by shutting down the banking system from outside, and requesting the use of an external force to push him out completely.

You May Like

Pakistan Among Developing Counties Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

This forum has been closed.
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.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

VOA Blogs