News / Africa

Ivory Coast Tensions at Fever Pitch

West African leaders meet with Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, right, at the Presidential palace in Abidjan, 28 Dec 2010
West African leaders meet with Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, right, at the Presidential palace in Abidjan, 28 Dec 2010

The window for a diplomatic solution to Ivory Coast's violent, month-long political crisis appears to be narrowing, as tensions continue to mount.

A crowd attacked a U.N. convoy in Abidjan Tuesday, and an ECOWAS delegation left Abidjan empty-handed after urging incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, to step down peacefully and end the bloody political showdown following last month's disputed election.  The delegation will return to Ivory Coast next week.

The presidents of Benin, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde met with incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, in Abidjan Tuesday to deliver an ultimatum, on behalf of West African regional bloc, ECOWAS: Mr. Gbagbo can step down peacefully or face removal by force.

It was to be Mr. Gbagbo's final chance. However the ECOWAS delegation returned to Abuja Tuesday night without Mr. Gbagbo, whom they were expected to offer political asylum.  Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said the delegation will return to Ivory Coast to resume negotiations with Mr. Gbagbo next Monday.


Cape Verde president, Pedro Pires, says we cannot think in terms of success or failure. He says what we know is that we have done valid work here, not more than that.

The ECOWAS delegation also met with U.N.-endorsed presidential election winner, Alassane Ouattara, at his headquarters in an Abidjan hotel protected by U.N. peacekeepers and former rebel fighters.

Both Mr. Ouattara and Mr. Gbagbo claimed victory in the November 28 presidential runoff. The dispute has led to a tense political power struggle that the United Nations says has already killed more than 170 people and many worry could re-ignite a civil war.

Many Ivorians, weary after nearly a decade of crisis, are putting their hope in ECOWAS, while others say its efforts may be too little, too late.

Abidjan resident, Noel Gakpa, says ECOWAS should not have waited for this to become venomous. He says at this point, we do not know how it will end and now it is as if we are frantically trying to sort it out. He says they waited for the fire to start burning before coming to put it out.

ECOWAS has suspended Ivory Coast and is but one of many foreign powers, including the European Union, the African Union and the United States, that is calling on Mr. Gbagbo to step down.

An increasingly isolated and defiant Laurent Gbagbo shows no signs of caving. Speaking on state television Tuesday, Gbagbo spokesman, Ahoua Don Melo, says the Gbagbo government will sever ties with any government that recognizing envoys sent by Mr. Ouattara by ending the missions of those countries’ ambassadors in Ivory Coast.

Mr. Gbagbo has saved some of his bitterest reproaches for the United Nations and its mission in Ivory Coast, whom he accuses of meddling in Ivory Coast's affairs.  

The United Nations says its 10,000-member peacekeeping force will remain in Ivory Coast on an impartial mandate to protect civilians, despite Mr. Gbagbo's demands it withdraw.

The United Nations says a large crowd attacked a U.N. convoy Tuesday in the Yopougon neighborhood of Abidjan, injuring one peacekeeper with a machete and burning a U.N. vehicle.

A Yopougon resident says the U.N. arrived with four tanks and tried to cross. He says everyone was on alert and came out to make them go back to their base. He says they should just go back there, we do not need them here.

The United Nations said calm was restored after intervention from Ivorian armed forces chief, General Philippe Mangou.

Witnesses in Abidjan say a nationwide strike, called for by Mr. Ouattara's camp Monday, is gaining momentum in pro-Ouattara neighborhoods with taxi drivers not working and public transportation grinding to a halt.

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs