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

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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