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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs