News / Africa

    US in Talks on Boosting UN Force in Ivory Coast

    UN forces patrol on a street in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, after UN chief warns that Ivory Coast faces 'real risk' of return to civil war, Dec 22, 2010
    UN forces patrol on a street in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, after UN chief warns that Ivory Coast faces 'real risk' of return to civil war, Dec 22, 2010

    Multimedia

    Audio

    The United States says it is talking with France and West African states about "augmenting" the U.N. peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast as the political crisis there persists. Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo continues to resist calls to step down in favor of the internationally recognized winner of last month's election, Alassane Ouattara.

    State Department officials say contacts are under way with France and member states of the West African regional grouping ECOWAS about sending more troops to Ivory Coast, as tensions there mount.

    A U.N. force of some 10,000 troops has been in Ivory Coast since civil warfare began there nearly a decade ago, supplemented by a contingent of almost 1,000 French troops.

    Defying a demand by Gbagbo that the peacekeepers leave, the U.N. Security Council this week extended the mandate of the force.

    At a news briefing Wednesday, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said the talks about expanding the force are being driven by concern that militiamen loyal to Gbagbo might try to evict the peacekeepers, or that the current situation might flare into renewed civil warfare.

    "Given the challenge that President Gbagbo issued for the U.N. force to depart, we can't rule out that at some point in time, he may challenge the presence of that force through force of his own," said Crowley. "We want to make sure that the U.N. has the capability to maintain peace and stability in Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) while this is worked through. So we are in discussions with other regional countries to see if there are ways we can reinforce the U.N. peacekeeping force."

    Crowley said U.S. concerns about the situation are growing amid reports that militiamen loyal to Gbagbo are intimidating, and possibly even killing, members of the opposition.

    The Ivoirian leader continues to defy calls that he step down in favor of Ouattara, the internationally-recognized winner of the country's November 28th presidential election.

    The United States joined the European Union Tuesday in imposing travel sanctions on Gbagbo and close associates. Crowley said additional U.S. financial sanctions, aimed at cutting off funding for his government, are "under active consideration."

    The State Department spokesman rejected a call by Gbagbo for an international panel to re-examine results of the election.

    Crowley said the outcome already has been certified by foreign monitors and the country's own electoral commission, and that there were no incidents of alleged fraud serious enough to alter the outcome.

    He also dismissed Gbagbo's assertion that the country is calm, saying the international community is documenting widespread human rights abuses, and that both the International Criminal Court and the U.N. Human Rights Council are taking up the issue.


    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.