News / Africa

UN Security Council Considers New Measures to End Ivory Coast Violence

With possessions balanced on their heads, about 1,000 people frantically crowded around buses rented by Mali to evacuate its citizens from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, including a Malian man climbing into the window of a bus, March 25, 2011
With possessions balanced on their heads, about 1,000 people frantically crowded around buses rented by Mali to evacuate its citizens from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, including a Malian man climbing into the window of a bus, March 25, 2011
Margaret Besheer

The U.N. Security Council is considering tough new measures to press Ivory Coast’s incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo to end months of post-election violence and finally transfer power to his rival Alassane Ouattara, who won the November presidential election.

The U.N. Security Council has repeatedly expressed concern over attacks against civilians in Ivory Coast, where the United Nations says post-election violence has killed at least 462 people and injured scores more. Almost four months of fighting between armed supporters of Gbagbo and Ouattara has also displaced nearly a million people in the country’s commercial capital, Abidjan.

France’s U.N. ambassador, Gérard Araud, told reporters Friday that Abidjan is on the brink of civil war, and action is necessary. He said France and Nigeria have presented the Security Council with a draft resolution intended to help end the crisis, and he explained the measures contained in it.

"It is saying, first, I think, [Laurent] Gbagbo has to leave. Second point, to stop the violence against the civilians, and especially as the French president has declared, we would want to forbid the heavy weapons from the Abidjan area," said Araud. "You may be aware that actually the Gbagbo people have used mortars against civilian neighborhoods, so it is very important to do it. And we also want to go to sanctions against Gbagbo and his close advisers."

Araud said the draft resolution also includes a referral of the situation in Ivory Coast to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. He said the draft would be discussed among the council members next week, but did not say how soon it might come to a vote.

The United Nations has about 10,000 peacekeepers in Ivory Coast, but their efforts to protect civilians have been obstructed by forces loyal to  Gbagbo, as the U.N.’s assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, Atul Khare, told the council.

"Young Patriots and security forces loyal to Mr. Gbagbo continue to obstruct UNOCI operations, including by blocking access by UNOCI patrols to areas where clashes between forces loyal to Mr. Gbagbo and supporters of President Ouattara were on-going. In addition, a number of attacks against the United Nations personnel were reported."

UNOCI Is the French acronym by which the mission is known. Khare said those attacks included the abduction of a peacekeeper on March 15. The peacekeeper is still missing.

Ouattara’s U.N. ambassdor, Youssoufou Bamba, appealed to the council to take "rigorous measures" against Gbagbo, saying, if the situation continues, it will lead to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe that will affect not just Ivory Coast, but the entire region.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs