News / Africa

UN: Grenade Attack Kills One in Ivory Coast Commercial Capital

A man points to a burnt shop near Williamsville after a clash between Ivorian security forces and pro-Outtara fighters in Abidjan, March 15, 2011
A man points to a burnt shop near Williamsville after a clash between Ivorian security forces and pro-Outtara fighters in Abidjan, March 15, 2011

The United Nations said a grenade attack has killed one person and wounded 18 in Ivory Coast's commercial capital, Abidjan. With violence spreading, the U.N.-certified winner of November's presidential election said he is giving the incumbent president one "last chance" to resolve the crisis peacefully.  

The United Nations mission in Ivory Coast said a UN clinic is treating 18 people, including three women and a baby, who were wounded by a grenade thrown by an unidentified person in the Attecoube neighborhood near Abidjan's central business district. A written statement said one person was killed at the scene.

The U.N. is calling on all parties to exercise restraint and stop the fighting, which it says is making it more difficult to resolve the country's political crisis.

Former prime minister Alassane Ouattara said he is offering incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo a truth and reconciliation commission, a national unity government, and a combined armed forces in a move to avoid a return to civil war.

The offer follows recommendations by the African Union, which last week certified Ouattara as the country's duly-elected president. Ouattara made the offer in a television broadcast from the Abidjan hotel where he is guarded by U.N. peacekeepers.

"To President Laurent Gbagbo, Ouattara says he would like to say that, in the best interests of the nation, it is time to abide by the will of the voters of Ivory Coast and appeals from civil society groups, religious leaders, West African leaders, the European Union, the United States, and the United Nations," said a translator of Ouattara's remarks. "Mr. Ouattara says Mr. Gbagbo must understand that for himself and his associates, this is the last chance for a peaceful and honorable exit. This, Mr. Ouattara says, is Mr. Gbagbo's personal responsibility."

Gbagbo is refusing to yield power because he maintains he was re-elected when a constitutional council of his allies annulled as fraudulent nearly 10 percent of all ballots cast.

Weeks of renewed fighting in Abidjan is now spreading from pro-Ouattara neighborhoods to pro-Gbagbo neigborhoods. There also is fighting near the Liberian  border between rebels who back Ouattara and government troops who are still loyal to Gbagbo.

In his address, Ouattara pledged to reconcile the daughters and sons of Ivory Coast.

"In keeping with the African Union decision, Mr. Ouattara says he will form a government of national unity and reconciliation that brings together the most competent people from civil society and all parties, including Mr. Gbagbo's, for the country's recovery," said a translator of Ouattara's remarks.

"Mr. Ouattara says it is imperative that Ivorians learn again how to live together in peace. In this spirit, he says he will encourage dialogue among all political leaders to maintain an atmosphere of confidence and peace and make reforms to consolidate democracy," said a translator of Ouattara's remarks.

"Mr. Ouattara says reconciliation in Ivory Coast must be accompanied by forgiveness and mutual respect. But in order to properly honor the memory of those killed in this political violence and ensure their families' compensation, he says a truth and reconciliation commission will be put in place as quickly as possible," said a translator of Ouattara's remarks.

The United Nations says post-electoral violence has killed more than 400 people. Human Rights Watch says a three-month campaign of organized violence by soldiers and militia loyal to Gbagbo may constitute war crimes.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs