News / Africa

US: Gbagbo Stole Election, Should Cede Power

US Assistant Secretary of State of African Affairs Johnnie Carson (file photo)
US Assistant Secretary of State of African Affairs Johnnie Carson (file photo)

The United States is renewing its call for Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo to yield power to the internationally recognized winner of the country's November election.  Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson says Mr. Gbagbo's continued hold on power amounts to election theft.

The Obama administration is trying to turn up the political pressure on Mr. Gbagbo to step aside, with the State Department's chief Africa diplomat warning again that chances for a face-saving end to the crisis for the long-time Ivory Coast leader are dwindling.

In a talk with reporters, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson said U.S. officials believe very strongly that Mr. Gbagbo should "turn over the reins of government" to what he termed the "properly elected" president, Alassane Ouattara.

The Ivory Coast independent electoral commission, backed by the United Nations, said Mr. Ouattara won the country's November 28 presidential run-off.

But the country's Constitutional Council, run by an ally of Mr. Gbagbo, later ruled that he had won, citing voting irregularities in the country's northern region, a Ouattara stronghold.

The State Department has confirmed that the United States is among several countries that have offered to consider refuge to Mr. Gbagbo if he steps aside.  Carson said chances for a graceful exit for Gbabgo remain, but that they are dwindling.

"He still has an opportunity to accept a number of offers that have been put on the table," said Johnnie Carson. "But the longer this crisis goes on, the chances for those opportunities to remain diminish.  This is a challenge to democracy not only in the Ivory Coast, in West Africa, but to the democratic community.  There is no question that the election in the Ivory Coast was stolen by President Gbagbo and those around him."

U.N. officials have estimated about 180 people have been killed, mainly by government security forces, in post-election violence in Ivory Coast.

The State Department said Tuesday if Mr. Gbagbo accepts a foreign refuge, he might still face prosecution for the violence.

Carson called the situation a critical moment for democratic institutions and values across Africa, and said the United States is pleased by efforts by the African Union and West African group ECOWAS to resolve the crisis in favor of Mr. Ouattara.

He said the fact Africa's regional organizations have, in his words, "stood up for democracy" is a sign of progress and of the commitment of many of the continent's leaders to democratic governance.

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