News / Africa

UN and French Forces Attack Gbagbo's Heavy Weapons in Abidjan

Soldiers allied with Alassane Ouattara stand in a road in the Youpougon neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Sunday, April 10, 2011
Soldiers allied with Alassane Ouattara stand in a road in the Youpougon neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Sunday, April 10, 2011

United Nations and French helicopters on Sunday attacked heavy weapons at the residence of Ivory Coast's incumbent president. The United Nations and the United States say incumbent government forces used a brief ceasefire last week to regroup and rearm.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he ordered the attacks in keeping with the Security Council mandate to protect civilians and U.N. peacekeepers after he says forces loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo shelled the headquarters of the internationally-recognized president Alassane Ouattara on Saturday.

In a written statement, the secretary-general says those actions are unacceptable and cannot continue. He says civilians are bearing the brunt of violence in Abidjan and that Mr. Gbagbo needs to step down immediately to stop the fighting.

He again asked French forces in Ivory Coast to join the attack as they did last Monday, when helicopters began bombing Gbagbo positions. The spokesman for the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast, Hamadou Toure, says officials stopped that campaign to evaluate its results and resumed attacks on Sunday when they concluded that Mr. Gbagbo's troops were still using heavy artillery, tanks and rocket launchers.

Sunday's U.N. airstrikes focused on the presidential compound where Mr. Gbagbo is in an underground bunker, refusing to admit that he lost last November's presidential vote.  Witnesses in Abidjan say they saw black smoke rising from the area.

Mr. Gbagbo's spokesman, Ahoua Don Mello, says incumbent government troops are not responsible for shelling Mr. Ouattara's headquarters.  He accuses the United Nations of lying about the assault to justify continued airstrikes. Mello says Ivorians should resist French forces, who he says are launching barbaric attacks alongside Mr. Ouattara's fighters and U.N. peacekeepers.

The head of U.N. peacekeeping says nearly 1,000 fighters loyal to Mr. Gbagbo regained ground in downtown Abidjan and in the Cocody neighborhood near the presidential compound, after using a brief ceasefire last week to reinforce their positions.

The U.S. State Department says that last week's attempt to negotiate Mr. Gbagbo's surrender was a ruse to regroup and rearm.  State Department Spokesman Mark Toner says Mr. Gbagbo's efforts to force a result that he could not achieve at the ballot box show is, in his words, a "callous disregard for the welfare of the Ivorian people, who will again suffer amid renewed heavy fighting in Abidjan."

Mr. Gbagbo says he was reelected when the constitutional council annulled as fraudulent nearly 10 percent of ballots cast in his run-off election with Mr. Ouattara.  Electoral commission results certified by the United Nations show Mr. Ouattara won the vote.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More