News / Africa

Ouattara Offers Ivory Coast Unity Government If Gbagbo Steps Down

United Nations troops from Niger drive past a billboard of Ivory Coast's internationally recognized elected leader Alassane Ouattara during a patrol in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (File Photo)
United Nations troops from Niger drive past a billboard of Ivory Coast's internationally recognized elected leader Alassane Ouattara during a patrol in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (File Photo)

Ivory Coast's ambassador to the United Nations says presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara would form a unity government with members of incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo's party, if Gbagbo steps down first.

Youssoufou Bamba told British radio Monday that Mr. Gbagbo should recognize Mr. Ouattara as the country's legitimate president. Bamba said Mr. Gbagbo has "competent people in his party" and that Mr. Ouattara is prepared to work with them "in the framework of a wide, composite cabinet."

The Reuters news agency reports that Mr. Ouattara's team on Monday listed 16 Ivorian treasury, banking and cocoa officials it wants sanctioned for backing Mr. Gbagbo. The incumbent president's access to state accounts at West Africa's central bank already has been frozen, but he still controls taxes, customs and the lucrative oil and cocoa industries.

Mr. Ouattara's proposal for a unity government comes amid mounting pressure on Mr. Gbagbo to cede power and end a standoff that has resulted in violence that killed more than 200 people and threatens to rekindle a civil war.

The U.N. Security Council issued a statement Monday expressing deep concern at continued violence and human rights violations in Ivory Coast - including against peacekeepers. It condemned attempts to prevent the U.N. force from protecting civilians and investigating atrocities.

The U.S. Embassy in Abidjan held a meeting with American citizens Monday and urged them to leave the country while commercial flights are still available.

Foreign embassies already have ordered a majority of their staff to leave as anti-Western sentiment simmers. Mr. Gbagbo's government continues to use the state broadcasting arm to denounce what it calls the "Franco-American plot" behind calls for his ouster.

In its statement Monday, the security council demanded an immediate halt to the use of Ivorian media to propagate "false information" that incites "hatred and violence, including against the United Nations."

There has been no visible progress toward resolving Ivory Coast's political crisis, despite new mediation efforts by Nigeria's former president, Olusegun Obasanjo. Mr. Obasanjo left the West African nation late Sunday, after holding separate talks in Abidjan with Mr. Gbagbo and Mr. Ouattara.

The former Nigerian leader said he is optimistic the standoff can be resolved, but he did not rule out military intervention to oust Mr. Gbagbo. The West African bloc ECOWAS has threatened to remove Mr. Gbagbo by force unless he relinquishes power to Mr. Ouattara.

The international community recognizes Mr. Ouattara as the winner of November's presidential election. Mr. Gbagbo insists that he won the vote and has defied intense international pressure to relinquish power.

Pro-Gbagbo forces continue to keep Mr. Ouattara confined to the Abidjan hotel where he has been for about a month.

You May Like

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs