News / Africa

UN's Ban: Ivory Coast's Gbagbo Must Go

US Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (R), shakes hands with UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon prior to meetings at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, April 7, 2011
US Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (R), shakes hands with UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon prior to meetings at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, April 7, 2011
Michael Bowman

As clashes continue in Ivory Coast, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has again demanded that embattled incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo cease efforts to cling to power.  Ban met with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday on Capitol Hill.

The U.N. secretary-general minced no words in his message to Laurent Gbagbo, who the U.N. and most nations say lost the Ivory Coast presidential election to Alassane Ouattara.

"He has to cede his power to a democratically-elected leader, Mr. [Alassane] Ouattara," said Ban.  "He has to mind to the well-being and safety and security and prosperity of his people. It is his last opportunity to gracefully exit from this [violent standoff]."

Ban spoke as Gbagbo and Ouattara loyalists continued fighting around the presidential compound in the Ivorian commercial capital, Abidjan.  So far, U.N. and French efforts to negotiate an end to the conflict have failed.

The secretary-general said recent U.N. military action in Ivory Coast - including the destruction of heavy weapons used by Gbagbo forces - was necessary.

"We have taken some limited military measures over the last few days in accordance with [the] relevant Security Council resolution to protect the civilian population and in exercising self-defense, because United Nations patrols have been attacked, and United Nations headquarters have been attacked. So we had to take necessary measures," added Ban.

Ban Ki-moon spoke in the Capitol building alongside the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry of Massachusetts. Nearby, U.S. legislators were engaged in a furious battle over the federal budget one day before a threatened government shutdown.

Kerry said the United States must rectify its fiscal imbalance, but must remain engaged in the world and should not abdicate its foreign responsibilities, including those to the United Nations.

"We all know that the United States is facing a difficult budget moment, and we are all thoughtful about that. But let me emphasize, while some people in the Congress are talking about retrenching and reducing America's presence on a global basis, and particularly reducing America's support for international institutions, I want to firmly state how unwise and even dangerous I believe that kind of move would [be]," said Kerry.

Ban welcomed Senator Kerry's comments, saying that the United Nations is aware of the need for thrift and is attempting to shave its own operating costs.

During their meeting, the secretary-general is reported to have reminded senators of continuing U.N. missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Haiti, and elsewhere.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid