News / Africa

US: Gbagbo Has 'Finite Amount of Time' to Cede Power

Ivory Coast police loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo face supporters of Alassane Ouattara, who has claimed to have won last month's presidential election, during a protest in a street in Abidjan on Dec 16, 2010
Ivory Coast police loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo face supporters of Alassane Ouattara, who has claimed to have won last month's presidential election, during a protest in a street in Abidjan on Dec 16, 2010

A senior U.S. official says embattled Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused to cede power after an election defeat, has been given a "finite amount of time" to step down or face sanctions. The comments came after the political standoff in the West African country turned violent Thursday.

A senior official here says Mr.  Gbagbo has been given what amounts to an international ultimatum to step aside and that diplomats believe the incumbent president - in power for a decade - has gotten the message.

Ivory Coast has been in political crisis for more than two weeks, after Gbagbo refused to accept the verdict of the country's independent electoral commission that he lost last month's presidential run-off election to challenger Alassane Ouattara.

Mr. Gbagbo has thus far resisted calls that he step aside.

But the senior State Department official, who spoke to reporters on terms of anonymity, said there is "strong unanimity" among concerned parties including the United States, France, the African Union, and the West African regional grouping ECOWAS that he must yield.

The official said Gbagbo has a finite amount of time, a matter of days he said, to make the "right decision" and that if he fails to do so the United States and others are prepared to follow-through with sanctions against him and close associates.

The official hinted that Mr. Gbabgbo may be close to a decision to yield, saying there are, in his words, "reasons to believe that he is getting the message."

Earlier, at a news briefing, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley deplored Thursday's outbreak of lethal violence in Abidjan, as troops loyal to the incumbent president and his challenger exchanged fire, amid rival street protests.

"We remain very concerned about the outbreak of violence today in Cote D'Ivoire [Ivory Coast]," said P.J. Crowley. "We understand that there are a number of injuries and as many as 18 have been reported killed. The UN operation in Cote D'Ivoire set up a field hospital to treat those who've been wounded. And we deplore the use of violence and again call on everyone to remain calm as we continue to work with the international community to help resolve this situation."

Crowley said a rocket-propelled grenade struck the outer perimeter of the U.S. embassy in Abidjan, causing minor damage but no injuries. He said the State Department is considering an evacuation of non-essential U.S. personnel from Ivory Coast but that no final decision had been made.

The senior official who spoke here said Mr. Gbagbo would have to step down and leave the country to avoid threatened sanctions.

He declined to say where he might go but said Mr. Gbagbo has "multiple homes in multiple countries" and has the "opportunity to avail himself of any one of them."

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed 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