News / Africa

Supporters of Rival Ivorian Presidents Fight Near Liberian Border

A man known as Commander Bauer, the chief of a group of pro-Ouattara fighters, walks with his men in northern Abidjan's Abobo district March 26, 2011
A man known as Commander Bauer, the chief of a group of pro-Ouattara fighters, walks with his men in northern Abidjan's Abobo district March 26, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Supporters of Ivory Coast's two rival presidents are fighting for control of a strategic town near the Liberian border. African Union efforts to resolve the political crisis appear to be stalled over the choice of a mediator.

Soldiers loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo are fighting rebels who back the United-Nations-certified winner of November's vote, Alassane Ouattara.

Both sides say Monday's fighting began before dawn as they battled for control of the town of Duekoue in western Ivory Coast. Pro-Ouattara rebels say they have captured the town. Gbagbo troops say it has not yet fallen.

Duekoue is an important transportation hub linking the port of San Pedro and the capital Yamoussoukro with Guinea and Liberia. Pro-Ouattara rebels first attacked the town last month as they continue to push farther south along the Liberian border into areas that have been under control of the Gbagbo government since a brief civil war in 2002.

Violence also continues in the commercial capital Abidjan, where pro-Ouattara militia now control much of the neighborhood of Abobo. Those fighters are led by a man who calls himself Colonel Bauer, who said Gbagbo is blocking democracy.

Bauer said that since Gbagbo came to power, peace has slipped farther and farther away from the Ivorian people, so that is why they are fighting.

November's presidential election was meant to reunite the country. But the dispute over who won has led to more violence. The United Nations certified results announced by the electoral commission that show Ouattara as the winner. Gbagbo said he was re-elected when the Constitutional Council nullified nearly 10 percent of the ballots cast, proclaiming them fraudulent.

Gbagbo supporters say they are defending a vote that rebels are trying to steal with the help of the United Nations and France. Gbagbo youth leader Charles Ble Goude said Gbagbo supporters are determined to resolve the political crisis peacefully.

Goude said Gbagbo supporters who take to the streets unarmed are not violent people. He said the assassins and murders in Abidjan are Ouattara supporters, who kill people right in front of United Nations peacekeepers.

Human Rights Watch said pro-Gbagbo militia and soldiers are engaged in a campaign of violence against Ouattara supporters that may constitute war crimes.

African Union efforts to resolve the dispute appear to have stalled over Ouattara's refusal to accept a former foreign minister from Cape Verde, who Ouattara said is too close to Gbagbo to serve as a neutral mediator.

Ouattara said he was surprised by the choice of former foreign minister Jose Brito and deeply regrets not being consulted about the decision.  Gbagbo's government accepts the African Union appointment and said Ouattara is looking for a partisan referee.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
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.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid