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

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora