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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
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 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 Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
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.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid