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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
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 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 US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
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.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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