News / Africa

    Ouattara Concerned over Political Violence in Abidjan

    South African president Jacob Zuma (C), flanked by South African ambassador to Ivory Coast Lallie Ntombizodwa (R), shakes hands with African Union representative to Ivory Coast Ambroise Niyonsaba (L) as he arrivesat Abidjan international airport on Februa
    South African president Jacob Zuma (C), flanked by South African ambassador to Ivory Coast Lallie Ntombizodwa (R), shakes hands with African Union representative to Ivory Coast Ambroise Niyonsaba (L) as he arrivesat Abidjan international airport on Februa

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Patrich Achi, Minister of Infrastructure and Ouattara, spoke with Clottey

    Peter Clottey

    An official of Ivorian President-elect Alassane Ouattara’s government said the leader is expressing deep concern about the ongoing violence following clashes between pro-Ouattara supporters and partisans of embattled President Laurent Gbagbo in the commercial capital, Abidjan.

    Patrich Achi, Minister of Infrastructure and Ouattara spokesman, told VOA the violence could force Gbagbo to step down and cede power since, in his words, previous efforts by the international community, including African leaders, to resolve the political stalemate have failed.

    “President Ouattara has always been concerned about violence in general and violence in Abidjan in particular. Since the 28th of November (2010), when he won the election, followers of Gbagbo put forward violence hoping that it will finally bring him to accept that former President Gbagbo stays and he doesn’t leave the power. But, this is not possible and it will never happen, ever.” said Achi.

    Wednesday, witnesses reported rounds of gunfire and heavy weapons explosions in the volatile Abidjan neighborhood of Abobo. Tuesday, unidentified gunmen killed 10 troops loyal to Gbagbo, where most residents back Ouattara.

    “We think that the people in the stronghold of Abobo are the ones that suffer the most from this violence; and they are organizing themselves to resist the (national army); and they have been resisting so far and they are getting stronger and stronger again. I don’t think that the army of Gbagbo that goes there will be able to control the area.”

    Gbagbo has so far refused to step down, despite increasing international pressure and threats of “legitimate force” to remove him from power.

    Achi said Gbagbo is to blame for the ongoing violence in Abidjan.

    “The way the (violence) has started, if it gets to other areas in Abidjan, we might be surprised that, in the next few weeks, former President Gbagbo won’t be to control the city of Abidjan anymore, because people get afraid and frightened; but, at a certain point, they cannot just stand there and be killed every day. I’m afraid violence is going to raise up a little bit and, hopefully, it will make former President Gbagbo to quit office because that is what everybody is waiting for now,” said Achi.

    “After all these talks and delegations to find out a peaceful solution, still, he (Gbagbo) wants to stay there, and the economy is going bad, companies are closing, (and) people are out of jobs. This is terrible.”

    Achi also said Ouattara is so far pleased with the latest efforts of the African Union to help resolve the political stalemate after its delegation met both rivals.

    A team of four African heads of state met with the two presidents separately in Abidjan this week as part of an effort to end the standoff.

    The African Union panel will next make a ruling on how the impasse should end. The AU says the panel’s decisions will be legally binding. However, the 53-nation bloc has no way of enforcing those decisions.

    Since the disputed election, dozens of Ouattara supporters have been killed or disappeared.  The United Nations says post-election violence has killed some 300 people and driven tens of thousands of refugees into neighboring Liberia.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora