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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid