News / Africa

West African Leaders Suspend Ivory Coast Over Political Crisis

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks during a press conference on December 7, 2010, after a special summit of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) heads of States on Ivory Coast's electoral crisis.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks during a press conference on December 7, 2010, after a special summit of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) heads of States on Ivory Coast's electoral crisis.

Multimedia

Audio

West African leaders are calling on Laurent Gbagbo to step down as president of Ivory Coast in favor of a former prime minister who won the United-Nations certified vote.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan chairs the Economic Community of West African States. Following an emergency meeting with the leaders of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, and Togo, President Jonathan said Mr. Gbagbo should step down because he lost last month's vote.

"The votes of the people must count. Where we have a democracy where the votes do not count, ECOWAS will no longer accept such a pseudo or false democracy," said Jonathan.

President Jonathan says West African leaders agree that former prime minister Alassane Ouattara won the election and is now Ivory Coast's rightful leader. "We reviewed the whole issues, the whole elections, and have come to the conclusion that Ouattara was the person who duly won that election.  Of course you know that we no longer accept illegitimate government within the subregion," he said.

So the regional alliance suspended Ivory Coast from all of its activities.

Mr. Gbagbo says he is the president because Ivory Coast's constitutional council annulled as fraudulent nearly ten percent of all ballots cast, giving him 51 percent of the vote. Mr. Ouattara says he is the president because the United Nations certified the original electoral commission results that show him winning 54 percent of the vote.

Both men have named new prime ministers and have the support of rival armed forces. Mr. Gbagbo is supported by senior military officers who control southern regions. Mr. Ouattara is
supported by former rebels who control northern regions.

President Jonathan called on the United Nations and the African Union to work with West African leaders to keep the peace. "We know we have a challenge on our hands. We have two people claiming to be the president. We have two prime ministers. We have two sets of executive councils. And of course that is a very, very abnormal situation. But we believe that we will get over this ugly phase of the history of the subregion," he said.

The first sign of the conflict's regional impact is the arrival of refugees in neighboring Liberia.

Liberian refugee agency official Morris Nelson says more than 600 people have crossed the border into Nimba County since late last week. "At the moment we are building tents where these refugees can seek refuge for the meantime. But what is more alarming is that these Ivorians do not have any food to eat. So we are calling on humanitarian organizations like the WFP (World Food Program) to hurriedly come in to provide support to these Ivorian refugees," he said.

The rebuke by his former colleagues is unlikely to change Mr. Gbagbo's approach to the political crisis. ECOWAS joins the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, Britain, France, the United States, and Canada in calling for Mr. Gbabgo to yield power.

Mr. Gbagbo dismisses international support for Mr. Ouattara as foreign interference that threatens Ivory Coast's sovereignty. His new prime minister named a new cabinet Tuesday.

President Jonathan says West African leaders want Mr. Gbagbo to yield power without delay because they do not believe a government of national unity is in Ivory Coast's best interests. Given the experience of power-sharing governments in Kenya and Zimbabwe, the Nigerian leader says that does not really work.

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space 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.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid