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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid