News / Africa

World Bank Freezes Ivory Coast Financing

Mariama Diallo

The World Bank says it has frozen financing for Ivory Coast, where incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo is clinging to power in the face of global criticism. The move increases the pressure on Mr. Gbagbo to hand power to rival Alassane Outtara, the internationally-recognized winner of last month's presidential election. At the same time, France and Germany are asking their citizens to leave the West African nation, amid U.N. concerns of a return to civil war. Mariama Diallo has more.


The bank said it is asking others to also freeze financing for the country.

"In addition I discussed the fact that we had discussed with President Toure the need for the Central Bank, with WAMU - the West African Monetary Authority - to also freeze the loans, which they have done.  And they are also convening a meeting of ministers this week to affirm and strengthen that approach," said World Bank President Robert Zoellick after meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris.  

In his first televised appearance since the much disputed November 28 elections, Gbagbo accused the international community of ulterior motives in its support of Ouattara. "They want to relieve the Ivorian people of their sovereign right to choose their direction and their right to live freely in the country," he said.

Mr. Gbagbo said he does not want more bloodshed in his country.

The Economic Community of West African States also issued a statement Wednesday calling on Mr. Gbagbo to step aside immediately. And in Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the certified results show that Ouattara is the clear winner. "President Gbabgo must accept the result of the elections, and from our standpoint, this is not negotiable," the spokesman said.

The United Nations and much of the international community also maintain that Gbagbo lost the election. Even though Gbagbo ordered U.N. and French troops to leave his country last week, the U.N. has refused to do so.  And a Security Council resolution adopted unanimously on Monday extended the force's mandate until June of next year.

On Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said the situation could become critical within days, and warned of false information about the U.N. forces being spread by Ivorian state media.  

The U.N. reports that more than 50 people have died in recent days, and that hundreds of others have been abducted from their homes.

"We've been in contact with families of those who've been abducted.  People in the neighborhoods where people are taken at night have been saying that security forces are coming in and firing in the air," said Matt Wells, with Human Rights Watch:

Wells said there are also reports that Ivorians are fleeing to the neighboring country of Liberia.

In the meantime, the U.N. Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Alain LeRoy, says there are reports of mercenaries entering the country.

"We have been able to confirm the presence of mercenaries. ... people not speaking the local language and probably from Liberia, or maybe also some from Angola.  So they were mercenaries clearly used to attack, to provoke the civilian population and ONUCI personnel," he said.

Gbagbo has ruled the country since 2000.  His term officially ended in 2005 but he remained in office through repeated election delays.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid