News / Africa

UN Spokesman: Gbagbo Not Ivory Coast President

UN peacekeepers from Jordan stand guard at the entrance to the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, (File Photo)
UN peacekeepers from Jordan stand guard at the entrance to the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, (File Photo)
Nico Colombant

The United Nations says a request by incumbent Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo for all foreign peacekeepers to leave the divided country immediately is irrelevant. Ivorian state television issued a statement earlier Saturday accusing peacekeepers of siding with rebels and Mr. Gbagbo's presidential rival Alassane Ouattara.  

U.N spokesman Michel Bonnardeaux says the world body, the African Union, the West African regional grouping ECOWAS, the former colonial power France, the United States and many other countries recognize Mr. Ouattara as the winner of last month's presidential election. The U.N. spokesman told VOA this means statements issued by Mr. Gbagbo are without effect.  

He added Mr. Gbagbo is not the president of Ivory Coast.

Bonnardeaux also explains it is up to the Security Council to decide whether to extend its peacekeeping mandate, which expires at the end of the year.  

The spokesman also says the statement read on Ivorian state television is troubling because it comes after a U.N. patrol of peacekeepers from Bangladesh was attacked early Saturday.  He says that violates an accord with Ivory Coast.

He says there are also troubling signs the Ivory Coast army is preparing to deploy an attack helicopter in Abidjan, which would go against an existing arms embargo.

Bonnardeaux says U.N. peacekeepers will continue to try to protect civilians as well as the Golf hotel in Abidjan where Mr. Ouattara has set up his headquarters.

Foreign peacekeepers in Ivory Coast also include a French rapid reaction force which is based near the Abidjan airport.

Dozens of people were killed Thursday when forces loyal to Mr. Gbagbo stopped civilians and former rebels who control the north of the country from seizing the state television in Abidjan, the main commercial city in the south.

A leader of the so-called Young Patriots, a group which has consistently protested in favor of Mr. Gbagbo, told VOA he was ready to die. He warned that if the international community wants Ivory Coast to "disappear",  he says it will disappear.

Young Patriots are planning to gather near the Abidjan airport on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the former rebels says their side was running out of food at the Golf hotel headquarters of President-elect Ouattara. Afoussi Bamba said the barricades by the Ivorian army outside the hotel were preventing all access.

She urged more international help.

The conflict in Ivory Coast has been reignited since the Ivorian constitutional council threw out most votes from northern Ivory Coast, and said Mr. Gbagbo had won the disputed November 28th election. Ivory Coast has been cut in two since the start of the rebellion in 2002, with Mr. Gbagbo's forces still in control of the lucrative cocoa fields in the south, as well as the country's ports and state media.

The Security Council is due to convene Monday in New York to discuss the escalating tensions.

You May Like

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs