News / Africa

AU Mission in Ivory Coast Encounters Obstacles

Ivory Coast Prime Minister, Guillaume Soro, attends a media conference at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, January 30, 2011.
Ivory Coast Prime Minister, Guillaume Soro, attends a media conference at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, January 30, 2011.

The prime minister for the U.N.-certified winner of Ivory Coast's presidential election says African Union mediation is the last chance for a peaceful resolution of the political crisis.  The incumbent government says it will not accept any mediation that challenges the president's re-election.

The African Union's latest effort to resolve the political crisis in Ivory Coast is having problems before it gets started.

Members of the heads-of-state panel differ over the possible use of force to remove incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo. Gbagbo supporters oppose the inclusion of the Burkina Faso president on the panel because he is an ally of Gbagbo's rival, Alassane Ouattara.

Gbagbo's foreign minister says his government will not accept any finding that questions the legitimacy of the constitutional council annulling nearly 10 percent of all ballots cast, which made Gbagbo the winner.

Ivory Coast's Electoral Commission and the United Nations say results shows Ouattara winning, even if most of the contested votes are thrown out.

Ouattara's prime minister, Guillaume Soro, says the African Union mission is the last chance for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

Soro says the five heads of state will go to Ivory Coast to ask the elected president to explain the guarantees he will offer to the losing president. Soro says Ouattara has promised if Gbagbo agrees to leave power, Ouattara will accord him the status of a former president with all of its privileges.

Having served as Gbagbo's prime minister for more than three years, Soro told VOA  that he does not expect the incumbent president will abide by the decision of the African Union, because the alliance already recognizes Ouattara.

"AU recognized Alassane Ouattara as the elected president of Cote d'Ivoire," he said. "And I think that it is a victory for democracy in Cote d'Ivoire.  It is a victory of the people of Cote d'Ivoire."

Human Rights Watch says Gbagbo allies are killing and raping Ouattara supporters in post-election violence. The United Nations says peacekeepers are being blocked from suspected mass grave sites.

Soro says those responsible for that violence must be brought to justice.

"The struggle for freedom and the fight for democracy is not easy," he said. "In the history of our continent, the struggle for freedom generally generates crimes and killings and everything."

Both of Ivory Coast's competing governments went into the African Union summit hoping for decisive action against their rival. Instead, they got a panel of heads of state. Soro says he is not disappointed.

"No, no, no.  I am not disappointed.  I am a fighter," said Soro. "When you fight for democracy you can not be disappointed."

The leaders of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, South Africa, and Tanzania make up the African Union panel. They met Monday to outline their strategy and must now decide when to visit Abidjan and how to approach the country's rival presidents.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid