News / Africa

US Urges Ivory Coast's Gbagbo to Accept Election Defeat

Ivory Coast's incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo (R) with Prime Minister Gilbert Ake N'gbo (L) and other ministers at the Presidential palace in Abidjan on December 7, 2010.
Ivory Coast's incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo (R) with Prime Minister Gilbert Ake N'gbo (L) and other ministers at the Presidential palace in Abidjan on December 7, 2010.

The United States is calling for incumbent Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo to respect the outcome of last month's election, which the State Department says was clearly won by challenger Alassane Ouattara. U.S. officials are concerned about the prospect of violence if the west African country's political standoff continues.

Though the comments here stopped short of an outright call for President Gbagbo to step aside, the State Department says the election was clearly won by challenger Ouattara and that Mr. Gbagbo should make the "right choice"  in the best interests of his country.

The comments here were the most extensive from the United States thus far on the tense political stalemate that has gripped Ivory Coast since the November 28 voting.

In results endorsed by the United Nations, the country's independent election commission gave Mr. Ouattara an outright victory with 54 percent of the vote.

But Mr. Gbagbo, who has run the country for a decade, has refused to yield, saying a pro-government constitutional council annulled enough ballots to hand him a slim victory.

U.S. President Barack Obama, in a statement last week, congratulated Mr. Ouattara on his victory and urged all parties including Mr. Gbagbo to acknowledge and respect the result.

At a news briefing, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said Mr. Gbagbo confronts a decision whether to take his country on a path toward isolation or the preservation of democracy, and that the United States hopes he "makes the right choice" in the coming days.

"Cote d'Ivoire [Ivory Coast] had an election.  The international community judged the election as free and fair.  The result was clear, which is a victory for the challenger in the election.  It is time for President Gbagbo to recognize the will of the people of Cote d'Ivoire and embark on a peaceful transition.  The United States is calling on the president to respect the will, and a clear decisive victory by Mr. Ouattra," he said.

Both men have declared themselves president and named new prime ministers, and each has the support of rival armed forces.  

Spokesman Crowley said the United States is obviously concerned about the risk of violence if the Gbagbo government "makes the wrong choices."

He said the U.S. embassy in Abidjan is engaged with civil society groups and others to try to keep the situation calm, amid mediation efforts by the African Union and the West African regional group ECOWAS.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid