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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid