News / Africa

US Willing to Help Ivory Coast's Gbagbo Make 'Dignified Exit'

Kenya's PM Raila Odinga (l) walks with Gilbert Ake, named Prime Minister in the cabinet of Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, after arriving at the Felix Houphouet Boigny international airport in Abidjan, 03 Jan 2011.
Kenya's PM Raila Odinga (l) walks with Gilbert Ake, named Prime Minister in the cabinet of Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, after arriving at the Felix Houphouet Boigny international airport in Abidjan, 03 Jan 2011.

As West African leaders press Ivory Coast's incumbent president to cede power to the winner of the country's recent presidential election, a U.S. official says Washington is willing to help Laurent Gbagbo make a "dignified exit."  But, State Department officials say Mr. Gbagbo has shown no signs of leaving Ivory Coast.

West African mediators had little luck in convincing Mr. Gbagbo to step down Monday, despite international pressure for him to do so.  Presidents from the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, met with Mr. Gbagbo Monday in Abidjan.

Back in Washington, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters that the U.S. is in contact with officials in the region.

"We hope that President Gbagbo will listen intently to the message that he needs to step down," said P.J. Crowley. "So far, he hasn't.  But we certainly endorse what ECOWAS is trying to do today."

This was the second time in a week that presidents from Benin, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone met with Mr. Gbagbo. They were joined Monday by Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Crowley said U.S. officials are monitoring the situation on the ground in Abidjan, and they have taken steps to protect U.S. diplomats.

"We evaluate the safety and security of our embassy," he said. "We've winnowed down the number of officials at our embassy.  But we're in touch with a range of governments, and we continue to have a unified message to President Gbagbo that his time has come."

A senior State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Monday that a number of countries have offered Mr. Gbagbo a place to go, but there have been no indications that Mr. Gbagbo is ready to leave Ivory Coast.  The official said if Mr. Gbabgo wanted to come to the United States, Washington would entertain that notion as a means of resolving the situation.

The official said Mr. Gbabgo's window of opportunity to act is rapidly closing.

U.S. officials confirm that that there has been written communication with Mr. Gbagbo, who has refused phone calls and declined to see the U.S. ambassador.  

Crowley said he assumed Mr. Gbagbo has refused such a meeting because he "doesn't want to listen to good advice."

ECOWAS and the African Union have recognized former prime minister Alassane Ouattara as Ivory Coast's newly elected president.  Mr. Gbagbo contends that foreign governments are plotting against him.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid