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

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

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.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs