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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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