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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid