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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid