News / Africa

UN Sees Enormous Challenges Before Ivory Coast Vote

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid