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

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    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.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora