News / Africa

Regional Mediator Holds Crisis Talks in Ivory Coast

Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo (L) and Burkina Faso's president Blaise Compaore meet at the airport in Abidjan on 22 Feb, 2010 after Campaore arrived to act as a mediator in Ivory Coast's political crisis
Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo (L) and Burkina Faso's president Blaise Compaore meet at the airport in Abidjan on 22 Feb, 2010 after Campaore arrived to act as a mediator in Ivory Coast's political crisis

Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore is in Ivory Coast for talks with government and opposition leaders about ways to resolve the country's political crisis.  President Laurent Gbagbo dissolved the government and electoral commission weeks before expected presidential elections.

President Compaore is in Abidjan trying to resolve what he says is the crucial issue of delaying the presidential vote - the dissolution of the Ivory Coast electoral commission.

President Compaore says the appointment of an Independent Electoral Commission is essential to keep the process going forward.

President Compaore met Sunday with the two leading opposition candidates for president, former president Henri Konan Bedie and former prime minister Alassane Ouattara.  Burkinabe Foreign Minister Alain Yoda read their joint communiqué.

They are calling for all parties to respect the Ouagadougou Accord that ended Ivory Coast's 2002-2003 civil war and to organize elections in the shortest possible time.  They say there is need for an emergency meeting of all parties to resolve the political impasse.

President Compaore says such a meeting between Bedie, Ouattara, President Gbagbo and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro will take place sometime this week.

President Compaore says the Ouagadougou Accord not only specifies the appointment of President Gbabgo and Prime Minister Soro, but also includes other parties and the international community.  He says he does not have a magic wand to solve the problem, but remains confident because he says all parties have shown their willingness to start again, and this is not the first time this process has faced problems.

The dissolution of the government and electoral commission would appear to mean the election will be delayed for the seventh time since President Gbagbo's mandate expired in 2005.

He sacked the Cabinet and electoral commission 10 days ago because he says more than 400,000 people were illegally registered to vote.  The president's political opponents want an electoral commission in place before the new government is named.  

They are calling for protests to continue until the crisis is resolved.

At least five people were killed and nine injured Friday in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in the president's home town. Thousands of protesters marched Saturday in the country's second-largest city of Bouake, where Prime Minister Soro's former rebel movement has strong support.  Protesters in the northern city of Korhogo set fire to the headquarters of the ruling party. And there were additional protests reported Monday in the western city of Daloa.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed deep concern about the deteriorating security situation in Ivory Coast and is urging all parties to refrain from any action or rhetoric that could result in more violence.

President Compaore is in Abidjan as the regional mediator for the Economic Community of West African States.  Mahamane Toure is the group's Commissioner for Political Affairs.

"The final outcome is to the Ivorians themselves to agree on where they want to go," said Toure.  "The international community can be next to them, can help them, give them financial support, give them equipment support, give them advice.  But the ultimate decision will be in the hands of the stakeholders, President Gbagbo and the other opposition leaders, to come up with a solution," added Toure.

Prime Minister Soro's former rebel group, the New Forces, is warning that a failure to end the political impasse could lead to renewed conflict.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

America's Most Exotic Presidential Pets

From alligators to bears, the White House has been home to some unusual presidential pets over the years 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs