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

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More