News / Africa

UN Warns Against Any Attack on Ouattara's HQ

Supporters of opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, make their feelings known, as they sing at an event at a hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 30 Dec 2010
Supporters of opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, make their feelings known, as they sing at an event at a hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 30 Dec 2010
Anne Look

The United Nations is warning supporters of incumbent Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, that a planned attack on the headquarters of internationally-endorsed election winner, Alassane Ouattara, could spark widespread violence. Mr. Ouattara is calling for a peaceful resolution to the violent, month-long political standoff.

Ivory Coast remains locked in a political power struggle between incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, and challenger Alassane Ouattara, who the United Nations and much of the international community recognized as the winner of last month's poll.

The November 28 presidential election was meant to reunite the country following a 2002-2003 civil war. Instead, the United Nations says post-electoral violence has killed more than 170 people.

What should have been a celebration, Mr. Ouattara says, has instead become a period of mourning.

Speaking Thursday, Mr. Ouattara says he regrets the lost time and is impatient to start implementing initiatives aimed at improving living conditions for women and villagers and creating jobs for young people. But, he says, the thing I swore to do is to spare the maximum number of human lives. He says that it why I am being patient.

So far, Mr. Gbagbo has refused to budge in the face of international sanctions, blocked funds, mounting diplomatic pressure and threats of regional military intervention.

On Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, condemned calls from militant Gbagbo youth leader, Charles Ble-Goude, for an attack Saturday on the Abidjan hotel where Mr. Ouattara has set up his rival government under the protection of U.N. peacekeepers.

The U.N. chief said any attack on the hotel was, in his words, "dangerous" and "irresponsible" and could re-ignite civil war. He said U.N. forces are authorized to use all necessary means to protect its personnel, government officials and other civilians at the hotel.

Like Mr. Gbagbo, Ble-Goude accuses foreigners of threatening Ivory Coast's sovereignty. He has urged supporters to fight to the death to keep Mr. Gbagbo in power.

The United Nations has condemned attempts by Mr. Gbagbo's camp to incite attacks on its 10,000-member peacekeeping force, which it has refused to withdraw despite Mr. Gbagbo's demands.

Human rights groups accuse pro-Gbagbo security forces of abducting and torturing political opponents. U.N. human rights officials called Thursday for investigators to be allowed to examine a reported mass burial site in Abidjan, where they believe there are as many as 80 bodies. They have so far been blocked by security forces.

Mr. Ouattara's newly appointed Ivory Coast ambassador to the United Nations, Youssoufou Bamba, warns that Ivory Coast is on the brink of genocide.  U.N. advisers said allegations that homes of Mr. Gbagbo opponents had been marked to identify their ethnicity were extremely worrying but did not use the term genocide.

Mr. Gbagbo's government continues to deny the existence of mass graves and allegations of human rights abuses.

An ECOWAS delegation is expected to return to Abidjan Monday for continued negotiations. Three West African leaders met with Mr. Gbagbo Tuesday to deliver an ECOWAS ultimatum that Mr. Gbagbo could leave peacefully or be removed by force.

The pro-Ouattara former rebel force to the North, the New Forces, says it will fight alongside ECOWAS should the West African regional bloc undertake a military intervention.

ECOWAS head and Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, said a decision would be made after the talks but he is hoping for a peaceful resolution.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs