Anti-government protesters who support Alassane Ouattara surrounded Gbagbo’s house following violent clashes between opposite sides. Ouattara’s supporters attacked over Gbagbo’s bunker, pro-Gbagbo troops forced them to surrender.
French airplanes rushed to save Japan’s envoy to Ivory Coast, who was trapped there due to ongoing clashes in the country.
Alain Juppe, French Foreign Minister stated that Israel called on France to help in evacuate its nationals from Ivory Coast. On Wednesday, Gbagbo ‘s refusal to accept his defeat in the elections and step down from his post agitated Ouattara’s supporters and they surrounded Gbagbo’s house to capture him alive.
The current political crisis in Ivory Coast is a reflux of what has been happening in many countries of the Middle East region. It started in December when President Gbagbo rejected the election results and did not leave the post of President. Most of the Ivoirians today support Ouattara, Gbagbo’s political opponent leader and winner of the recent elections.
There have been tremendous efforts from the global community to convince and pressurize Gbagbo to resign and hand over power to Ouattara but in vain. Anti-government protesters in Ivory Coast turned into rebellions seizing cities and pushing pro-president security forces back to Abidjan.
There have been numerous deaths due to continuous violent conflicts between the pro-Gbagbo forces and the protesters. Around 1 million Ivorians have been forced to flee away from their homes and out of them 100,000 have taken shelter in Liberia.
International community states the increasing anti-government protests and President Gbagbo’s supporting force in Ivory Coast have posed threat to security of the citizens. The recent political crisis in different nations in the Middle East region has induced a rebellion voice in many of the nations in the region from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen and now in Ivory Coast.
The UN expresses concern over safety of the organization’s staff’s and Ivory civilians in the current scenario.
The international body has been severely criticized over not providing any protection to the civilians in Ivory Coast.
The international body submitted its vehicles last month and handed over to the government security officials following the abduction of two UN staffs by pro-Gbagbo civilians, however they were released later.
Also, some of the UN staffs were doubted of sharing confidential information with the pro-government security officials that included details on how to use 3 UN MI-24 helicopters. Am Ivory Coast daily, Fraternité Matin, published an article showing the details of plan to attack the protesting civilians by these helicopters. However Gbagbo’s spokesperson gave no comment over inquiry.
More than 450 civilians have been killed in Ivory Coast following the November presidential elections and last week 52 people including two of the UN employees lost their lives in the conflict with Gbagbo supporting security forces.
Head of the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast, Young-jin Choi stated that the document shared with the government authorities was just a draft however he assured to probe into the incident of leakage.
Amidst pressure from the international community to resign from Ivory Coast president’s post, Laurent Gbagbo gets a more lucrative offer from the United States. US officials revealed that White House would help Gbagbo in leaving the country gracefully after his resignation.
ECOWAS, West African organization failed to convice Gbagbo to hand over power to his rival leader and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. However, Gbagbo is yet not ready to quit easily.
P.J. Crowley, Spokesman for the US State Department stated that they were negotiating with Ivory Coast president and other diplomats in West Africa. He added that US hopes that Gbagbo pays heed to their message and resigns. If he does not follow their advice, US will also support ECOWAS for further action. Presidents of Republic of Benin, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone met Kenyan premier Odinga to negotiate with Gbagbo on his resignation.
U.S. is continuously watching Ivory Coast’s situations and also safeguarding its officials staying in Abidjan. Crowley further added that US is trying to convey message to Gbagbo to give up power and leave for a safe heaven.
Despite receiving offers from many countries Gbagbo is not ready to surrender however sources said that he was interested in going to the US. Though Ivorian president has not received any phone call and refused meeting US envoy.
The United Nations faults Ivory Coast for human rights abuse after the November elections. The UN official reveals he has evidence of extra-judicial murders of innocent people to suppress the voices against the President Gbagbo.
However he acknowledged that the suppression of political leaders and their supporters against Gbagbo has gradually decreased.
Raila Odinga, Kenyan Premier is paying a visit to resolve the election dispute in Abidjan.
Ivorian President, Gbagbo is still insistent upon remaining in power despite so much international pressure upon him. He delayed the due presidential polls as far as possible. Finally the polls were organized under international pressure, when Gbagbo’s rival leader Alassane Ouattara was declared a winner by international community. However, Gbagbo nullified Ouattara’s victory and declared himself a winner.
There have been many clashes and demonstration by the supporters of Gbagbo and Ouattara. USA and many other countries have imposed sanctions against Gbagbo and compelling him to resign. US authorities even tried to lure Gbagbo with many offers provided he hands over power to Ouattara.
The UN officials have acknowledged violence against supporters of Ouattara. According to UN report, more than 200 opponents of Gbagbo have disappeared, who have possibly been abducted and killed by Gbagbo’s supporters.
Gbagbo not ready to resign yet
Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo pledged for not leaving despite US warnings to resign.
The US administration stated him to resign before it was too late, however Gbagbo has insisted upon staying in power.
Gbagbo has defied all the constitutional rules by denying his rival candidates win in the presidential polls. The polls were already delayed due to Gbagbo’s interruptions and were held only after the agreement with UN for restoring peace in Ivory Coast.
However Gbagbo did not agree with the November election results that declared his rival Alassane Ouattara a winner.
Gbabgo called on his supporters to not to give up and defend the country from foreign attacks.
Obama administration has been trying to solve Ivorian crisis with peaceful efforts yet and officials have even tried to convince Gbagbo to resign by luring him for getting a position in some international organization. Gbabgo has also being given an offer to settle in the United States if he liked or anywhere in Europe or Africa.
The international community has so far tried to pressurize Gbagbo by imposing travel sanctions on him and his family. The US officials have also clarified that the offers given to Gbagbo might also be withdrawn if his supporters continued to suppress Ouattara’s supporters and attack UN officials and peacekeepers in Ivory Coast.
The United Nations issues warning against the supporters of Ivory Coast president for attacking Alassane Ouattara. However, it is likely to ignite a civil war in the country among the supporters of Gbagbo and Ouattara.
Martin Nesirky, spokesperson of the United Nations stated that the UN chief Ban Ki-moon was “deeply alarmed” by the aggressive statements given by the supporters of Gbagbo against Ouattara.
The UN secretary general said that this attack on Ouattara’s hotel where he was staying, could provoke violence and called for immediate action to prevent such incidences, reveled the UN spokesperson.
UN had been authorized to verify the Nov 28 poll results under a peace agreement made after the civil war 2002-03. Ouattara was declared a winner by the international community but Gbagbo declared himself as winner referring to the Ivory Coast constitutional council’s decision. However, the council was headed by Gbagbo himself and he nullified the decision of one million voters to declare himself as a winner. The United Sates and other superpowers of the world have pressurized Gbagbo to resign and let Ouattara take the position of president however, Gbagbo remains aloof to all the pressure put over him. Gbagbo has already ruled in Ivory Coast much beyond the time given to an elected president to rule Ivory Coast as Gbagbo delayed the elections. .
Human rights groups have threatened president’s supporters for abducting political leaders who have been opposing Gbagbo. There have been reports of mass killing by Gbagbo supporters.
Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo
Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo continues to remain in power despite the cries of human rights abuses in Ivory Coast arising out of political uncertainty.
The U.N. deputy high commissioner for human rights, Kyung-wha Kang, has declared that human rights officers, “have substantiated allegations of 173 killings, 90 instances of torture and ill treatment, 471 arrests and detentions and 24 cases of enforced or involuntary disappearances,” between the last Thursday and Tuesday.
She has also alleged that the special representative of the Secretary-General has been stopped at gun point while investigating the human rights abuse cases.
Violence erupted after the November 28th Presidential elections. The ruling President believes that he won the elections, while the Election Commission picked opposition leader Alassane Ouattara as the winner. President Gbago derives strength from the ruling of the Constitutional Council that over ruled the Election Commission ruling.
Gbago claims that Ouattara and his followers are no longer a peaceful opposition and they have attacked soldiers’ with weapons. Charles Ble Goude, the nation’s youth minister under Gbagbo acknowledges that the situation is “very very difficult to live in”. But he condemns the U.N report as it only points out to the ruling government.
However, Kang accuses the ruling government responsible for “illegal detentions, nightly arrests and disappearances.”
peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast
Buttressing of peacekeeping forces and imposing financial sanctions against President Laurent Gbagbo could help prevent a civil war in Ivory Coast.
State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley says that Gbagbo had lost the last election and he should step down making way for the elected party to form government.
While the presence of US forces is not discussed now, USA wants Nigeria and West African nations to augment the existing UN peacekeeping force. Gbagbo has already questioned the presence of UN peace keeping force in Ivory Coast. His next move could be to resist the peacekeeping force with his own force, which could lead to a civil war.
Opposition leaders are already requesting for the removal of Gbagbo who is still clinging on to power despite losing the elections. France and Germany have warned their citizens to leave the country. The UN refugee commissioner has reported that nearly 6000 people of Ivory Coast have fled the country.
World Bank President Robert Zoellick confirmed that the bank has frozen loans to the Ivory Coast. The Central Bank of West African States has also stopped lending to Ivory Coast. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern over the possibility of Ivory Coast slipping in to a civil war. US is urging and hoping that sanctions and increase presence of peacekeeping forces could stop a civil war there.
Gbagbo(L) Ouatarra (R): both claimed the presidency in polls after civil war
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) appealed to Ivory Coast’s President Laurent Gbagbo to resign, and avoid ‘unnecessary bloodshed’ in the country. There were violent clashes in Ivory Coast following Gbagbo’s denial from stepping down on Thursday and many protesters were killed.
Sonny Ugoh, ECOWAS communications director stated that there was an international consensus to pressurize Ivorian president to resign from the post and give power to the former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara.
The ECOWAS official justified the demonstration by the supporters of former Prime Minister Ouattara unless they were violent. He said that the government of Ivory coast should not suppress people’s right to demonstrate. A senior official of the US State department revealed that the United States would impose sanctions against Mr. Gbagbo if he continued to deny from resigning. France and the African Union have also issued similar warning against the Ivory Coast president for his undemocratic behavior.
More violent protest followed the warnings by different countries. There were clashes between the pro-Gbago troops and Ouattara supporters in the city of Abidjan and also in the central Ivorian city of Tiebissou, leading to death of 30 people reportedly.
Mr. Ouattara appealed to his supporters to take hold of administrative buildings which were still under control of Mr. Gbagbo.
President Laurent Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara both declared themselves as winners in the previous polls after the 2002 civil war. The voting was done in order to reestablish peace in Ivory Coast after the civil war. The ECOWAS official feared that the current crisis might hamper the economic development in the entire West African region.
Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo in the center
Abidjan, Ivory Coast – Following the UN allegation over controversial presidential election in Ivory Coast, the US government has issued a warning against former president Laurent Gbagbo regarding wrongdoings to the electoral process and showing disrespect for the verdict. The United States has asked the ex-president to leave the presidential office at the earliest as the UN claims that the election was won by Gbagbo’s opponent.
Meanwhile, the African Union has shown deep concerns over the recent developments in the Ivory Coast politics and decided to suspend the country from the union’s membership. Gbagbo did not accept his defeat in the presidential election and rejected the electoral commission’s verdict, which showed that the opposition party leader Alassane Ouattara won the election by a considerable margin of votes.
Ivory Coast has been in news since the verdict came last week. The world community has shown its disapproval over Gbagbo’s unconstitutional act and asked him to immediately step down as a president. Gbagbo has been ignoring the world community’s voice since last week and even did not take call from Barack Obama. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came openly to talk on the Ivory Coast’s issue and said that the US government has asked Gbagbo to transfer power to his opponent in a constitutional manner otherwise he would be facing a dire consequences.
Gbagbo, who spent many years as an expatriate in France, may face a travel ban as the international community including the European Union and the United Nations have also condemned the act.