News / Africa

African Nations Hold Emergency Talks About Ivory Coast Election Crisis

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (R) and President of Benin Republic Boni Yayi chats during their meeting at the emergency summit of Heads of States of ECOWAS on the political crisis in Ivory Coast in Abuja 24 Dec 2010.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (R) and President of Benin Republic Boni Yayi chats during their meeting at the emergency summit of Heads of States of ECOWAS on the political crisis in Ivory Coast in Abuja 24 Dec 2010.

West African leaders are meeting to discuss the violent political showdown that has gripped Ivory Coast since last month's disputed presidential election, while a militant youth leader loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo calls for protests against what Gbagbo supporters say is foreign interference in the country's affairs.

Heads of states of the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, are meeting in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. The United Nations says more than 170 people have been killed in the violence.

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 incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo to step down.

The ECOWAS meeting comes a day after the U.N. General Assembly formally recognized challenger Alassane Ouattara as the winner of Ivory Coast's November 28 presidential runoff.

Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister Henry Odein Ajumogobia told VOA that Nigerian president and head of the ECOWAS regional bloc, Goodluck Jonathan, has offered Gbagbo assistance if he will cede power.

"He has a choice of what he does if he steps down. Nigeria, the president Jonathan, has offered assistance to give him a dignified resettlement whatever that means for him," Ajumogobia said. "If he wants to stay in Ivory Coast or if he wants to leave, Nigeria will do whatever it can to make his retirement comfortable."

The Central Bank of West African States ratcheted up pressure on Gbagbo Thursday by blocking his access to funds. The seven-member regional bank said it would allow only Ouattara's government to access the money, calling Ouattara the "legitimately elected president."  

Gbagbo, however, remains defiant.

His supporters, led by militant youth leader Charles Ble-Goude, accuse foreigners of threatening Ivory Coast's sovereignty and have vowed to fight to keep Gbagbo in power.

Ble-Goude says foreigners have crushed the dignity of Ivory Coast and of Africa and disrespected Ivory Coast's laws. He says France and the United Nations are preparing a genocide in Ivory Coast. Faced with all this, he says, the youth of Ivory Coast, and all of Africa, want respect for the dignity of Africa and peace in Ivory Coast. He says he is calling for a demonstration next Wednesday in Abidjan to show the world that African countries want to decide their own fates.

The Ivorian army affirmed its support for Gbagbo Thursday, a day after Ouattara's prime minister called for the international community to consider removing Gbagbo by force.

Human Rights Watch issued a statement Thursday saying that pro-Gbagbo forces are kidnapping Ouattara supporters and making them "disappear."

U.N. human rights monitors are reporting 90 cases of torture or abusive treatment, 24 forced disappearances and hundreds of arrests in the five days following last week's opposition protests.

Ouattara remains holed up in an Abidjan hotel protected by U.N. peacekeepers and former rebel fighters.

The United Nations says its 10,000-member peacekeeping force will remain in Ivory Coast, despite Gbagbo's demands they withdraw and what it said are attempts by Gbagbo's camps to incite attacks on peacekeepers.

Many observers, including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, worry the tense political stand-off could reignite a 2002-2003 civil war.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers 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.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More