News / Africa

Ouattara Forces Move to Round Up Gbagbo Militants in Abidjan

Pro-Gbagbo militiamen are pictured after their capture  in Abidjan, April 11, 2011
Pro-Gbagbo militiamen are pictured after their capture in Abidjan, April 11, 2011

With Monday's capture of former President Laurent Gbagbo, fighters backing Ivory Coast's elected president are now moving to re-establish security in Abidjan by rounding up members of Gbagbo's militant youth wing.

Forces loyal to President Alassane Ouattara line up prisoners on the tennis courts of their hotel headquarters. The men are alleged members of local militia that backed former President Gbagbo, who is now a prisoner himself at the same hotel.

After his arrest by Ouattara fighters who were backed by French special forces, Gbagbo called on all of his supporters to lay down their weapons to end the fighting in Ivory Coast.

But there was still sporadic looting and heavy weapons fire in the commercial capital Abidjan Tuesday where Ouattara forces are searching for members of Gbagbo's militant youth wing, chief among them the former minister for youth, Charles Ble Goude.

Goude led a series of inflammatory rallies for Gbagbo when international mediators were trying to convince him to yield power to Mr. Ouattara.  Ouattara officials say they intend to try Goude for inciting violence against Ouattara supporters and West African immigrants from countries thought sympathetic to Ouattara.

Goude is already under a United Nations travel ban for organizing attacks against foreigners in Abidjan eight years ago.  Regional diplomats say he sought and was refused sanctuary at the Angolan embassy here last week.

Ouattara forces inspect the papers of everyone who passes through a checkpoint in the Riviera neighborhood as young men build cinderblock barricades.  A Ouattara fighter known as Captain Wanto says Abidjan will not be secure until all Gbagbo militiamen are disarmed.

Wanto says their work is not yet finished. He says there are still militiamen and mercenaries in Abidjan. He says Ouattara forces have lost too many loved ones in this campaign to celebrate Gbagbo's capture.

"We are not celebrating because we are in mourning," he said.

The spokesman for the U.N. mission here, Hamadoun Toure, says Ouattara's approach to Gbagbo militants will go a long way toward establishing conditions for reconciliation.

"Of course the whole picture is how to promote social cohesion, national reconciliation, and lasting peace," he said.

Gbagbo fighters and Ouattara fighters are both suspected of human rights abuses, especially in western provinces near the Liberian border.

President-elect Ouattara says his new government will conduct an impartial investigation as part of its efforts to rein in militia.

Ouattara is promising to establish a truth and reconciliation commission which he says will bring to light all massacres, crimes, and violations of human rights. He says young people who joined militias must understand that those groups no longer have any meaning so he is asking them to surrender their arms.

You May Like

Germany Celebrates 25 Years of Unity

October 3 is a public holiday, marking the day in 1990 when East Germany and West Germany reunited More

Analysts: Russia's Syria Strikes Shake Regional Powers

If Moscow bolsters Assad, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf countries may feel obliged to step in More

Video Innovative Nano-Tech Water Filter Prevents Disease

It can absorb contaminants like copper, bacteria, viruses and pesticides, says Askwar Hilonga, who has been successfully trying out his product in Arusha 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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs