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

    No More Space Race for US, Rivalry Gives Way to Collaboration

    What began as a struggle for dominance in space between two world powers has changed entirely to one of joint efforts

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Move Over Millennials, Here Comes iGeneration

    How the first generation to be born, almost literally, with a smartphone in hand, might change America

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    British Government to Resettle Unaccompanied Child Refugeesi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    May 06, 2016 9:24 PM
    After criticism from lawmakers across the political spectrum, the British government has signaled that it will accept thousands of unaccompanied Syrian child refugees who have fled to Europe. It follows a campaign by a group of former Jewish refugees who were given refuge in Britain from Nazi persecution in the 1930s. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video British Government to Resettle Unaccompanied Child Refugees

    After criticism from lawmakers across the political spectrum, the British government has signaled that it will accept thousands of unaccompanied Syrian child refugees who have fled to Europe. It follows a campaign by a group of former Jewish refugees who were given refuge in Britain from Nazi persecution in the 1930s. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Strangers Share Secrets Through Postcards

    Frank Warren owns a million secrets. Strangers from around the world send him postcards with their confessions, their disappointments, and their hopes for the future, all anonymously. He displays his favorites online and in exhibits, and shares them with audiences in sold-out appearances around the globe. As VOA's Julie Taboh reports, what started as a simple social experiment has evolved into a multi-faceted and hugely successful global phenomenon.
    Video

    Video Largest Ground-based Telescope Under Construction

    While NASA's engineers are nearing the final phase of assembling the new James Webb space telescope, scheduled to be deployed in 2018, an international consortium led by the U.S. is laying foundations and building parts for a ground-based telescope, much larger than any other. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora