News / Africa

US Envoy Says Time Running Out for Peaceful Departure for Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo

Alassane Ouattara during a press conference at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan (file photo)
Alassane Ouattara during a press conference at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan (file photo)

The U.S. ambassador to the Ivory Coast said Friday international pressure on defeated Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo is mounting, and that  the "window" for his peaceful departure is closing. U.S. envoy Phillip Carter says the Obama administration is considering additional sanctions on Mr. Gbagbo.

The standoff between Mr. Gbagbo and the internationally recognized winner of the Ivory Coast election, Alassane Ouattara, has dragged on for more than two months, despite sanctions against the defeated leader and key associates.

But the U.S. Ivory Coast ambassador, Phillip Carter, says Mr. Gbagbo cannot expect to withstand mounting international political and economic pressure to step aside over the long-term.

The Ivory Coast envoy, in Washington for a global meeting of U.S. ambassadors, says mediators from the African Union and West African regional grouping ECOWAS want to resolve the conflict within a month, and that time for a graceful departure by Mr. Gbagbo is dwindling.

"I think the Africans are looking for whatever means they can to avoid conflict," said Carter. "They all recognize that the human rights abuses that are occurring in Abidjan and the western part of the country are something that has to be attended to. And the question of accountability is coming up. And so that window for Gbagbo to leave honorably, peacefully, with amnesty - that window’s closing."

U.S. envoy Carter said Mr. Gbagbo, facing international economic sanctions, has been resorting to extortion tactics against local companies to meet the payroll for security forces, who he said might turn against him if the money runs out.

Mr. Ouattara has been largely confined to an Abidjan hotel since the November 28th run-off election, under guard by African Union peacekeepers and French troops.

But U.S. envoy Carter said Mr. Gbagbo, whom he described as a "pretender" to power, is no less isolated.

"I would submit that they’re both isolated: Gbagbo within his own presidential palace with his cohorts around him, increasingly isolated within the international community financially, politically, economically," he said. "Whereas Ouattara, though he’s physically isolated at the Gulf hotel, has the support of virtually the entire international community and financial system."

Carter says U.N. officials have attributed 250 summary executions and 100 disappearances of Ouattara supporters to security forces loyal to Mr. Gbagbo, and warned those numbers will likely climb if what he termed the current "stasis" in the country continues.

He said the Obama administration is considering the expansion of the targeted travel and financial sanctions it has imposed against Mr. Gbagbo, his wife and key aides in coordination with the European Union.

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