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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid