News / Africa

UN Sees Enormous Challenges Before Ivory Coast Vote

Drew Hinshaw

The United Nations says enormous challenges remain unaddressed in the run-up to the long-delayed presidential election in Ivory Coast now scheduled for October 31. 

The U.N.'s deputy mission chief, Abdou Moussa, told reporters in Dakar Wednesday that Ivory Coast has never been this close to holding its long-awaited national elections.

Observers hope the October 31 vote, which has been delayed at least six times since the 2002 civil war broke out, will finally erase memories of the country's internal violence.

But with just a month left before the vote, Moussa says, there is a daunting amount of preparation to do.

Moussa says he ought to emphasize that "we are not there yet, that we still have a way to go before October 31st."   He adds that "there are so many challenges to face," like enormous logistical dilemmas.

Those challenges start with the difficulties of shipping voting material from the southern port city of Abidjan deep into the nation's backcountry.

The U.N. is helping Ivory Coast's electoral commission set up more than 20,000 polling stations, many in far flung villages within the northern hinterland still held by former rebels.

Next, the U.N. will help recruit 66,000 polling agents who must be trained to conduct the vote.

From October 10 to 18 the U.N. will support the electoral commission's undertaking to distribute voting cards throughout the entire nation.

Meanwhile, the U.N. will need to fill a vast and fractious country with even more peacekeeping soldiers.

Moussa says the U.N. approved on September 28 an additional 500 blue helmets to guide the country through this tense chapter in its 50-year-history.

Moussa says that on October 31 the U.N. is going to begin a public awareness campaign to ensure that the country does not just hold elections, but holds peaceful elections. 

"Because there will be 14 candidates, but there will only be one president. So we have got to make sure that the losers accept the results of this vote," Moussa explained.

In the six years since Ivory Coast's north-south civil war wound down, the nation's government has cited formidable logistical challenges in their arguments to delay previously scheduled elections.

This time, Moussa says he has no doubt that something -- an election, however peaceful or fair -- will take place on the 31st.

He says at this moment, he can tell you right off the bat that all candidates are gearing up for their campaigns, all across the country.   But campaigning costs money, he says. He does not think they would be wasting their money if they did not believe that something is going to happen. And we have not seen that before, he says.

Whichever candidate wins the vote will inherit a country with considerable economic potential, recovering from deep internal strife.  The West African nation not only exports rubber and coffee, it is the world's top grower of cocoa.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid