Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast turns to brute force to save forests

A woman looks at the ruins of Baleko-Niegre village in southwestern Ivory Coast, on June 22, 2013. By Sia Kambou (AFP/File) SASSANDRA, Ivory Coast (AFP) - It was a brutal end to a long-term problem...

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Ivory Coast’s Bony heads to Swansea

Ivory Coast's forward Wilfried Bony takes part in a training session in Rustenburg on February 1, 2013. By Alexander Joe (AFP/File) LONDON (AFP) - Ivory Coast international Wilfried Bony has signed for Swansea City in a club record deal, the English Premier League side said on Thursday.The Swans paid £12 million ($17.9 million, 13.9 million euros) to secure the Vitesse Arnhem striker's services, beating the £5.5 million for Spanish winger Pablo Hernandez last year.Bony signed a four-year contract at the Welsh club's pre-season training camp in the Netherlands, they said on their website swanseacity.net."This move has been talked about for quite some time, so I am delighted it is all completed," said Bony, who is nicknamed "Daddy Cool" in the Netherlands."Now it is important that I focus my mind on the challenge ahead because I hope to make the Swansea fans very happy."Bony, capped 20 times for his country, described the transfer as "the perfect move" but said he chose Swansea ahead of a number of foreign clubs because of their style of play, manager Michael Laudrup and the lure of the Premier League.The striker played 65 times for Vitesse after moving from Sparta Prague in 2011, scoring 46 times, including 31 in 30 games last season.But he admitted that England's top flight would be harder than the Dutch league."I had my best season last year at Vitesse with 36 goals in all competitions...

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Egypt, Ethiopia plan new talks over Nile dam

Gervais Kouassi Gervinho (L) of Ivory Coast vies with Erasto Nyoni of Tanzania on June 16, 2013 in Dar es Salaam. By Tony Karumba (AFP) ADDIS ABABA (AFP) - Ethiopia and Egypt said Tuesday they have agreed to hold further talks on the impact of a huge Ethiopian dam project to quell tensions between the two countries over water-sharing."We agreed that we will start immediately on consultations at both the technical level... ...

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Egypt, Ethiopia in further talks over Nile dam

Gervais Kouassi Gervinho (L) of Ivory Coast vies with Erasto Nyoni of Tanzania on June 16, 2013 in Dar es Salaam. By Tony Karumba (AFP) ADDIS ABABA (AFP) - Ethiopia and Egypt have agreed to hold further talks on the impact of an Ethiopian dam to quell tensions between the two countries, the foreign ministers of both nations said Tuesday."We agreed that we will start immediately on consultations at both the technical level... ...

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Egypt, Ethiopia, I. Coast, Tunisia reach play-offs

Gervais Kouassi Gervinho (L) of Ivory Coast vies with Erasto Nyoni of Tanzania on June 16, 2013 in Dar es Salaam. By Tony Karumba (AFP) JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Egypt, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Tunisia Sunday became the first countries to reach the play-offs in the Africa zone of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.A spectacular own goal by Bernard Parker gifted lowest Group A seeds Ethiopia a 2-1 triumph over 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa in Addis Ababa and an unassailable five-point lead with one round left.Mohamed Salah followed up a hat-trick against Zimbabwe last weekend by scoring the goal that earned Egypt a 1-0 win over Mozambique in Maputo and created an eight-point Group G gap over Guinea.Reigning African Footballer of the Year Yaya Toure netted twice in Dar es Salaam as Ivory Coast recovered from conceding a second-minute goal to defeat Tanzania 4-2 in Group C and they cannot be overtaken.Tunisia needed a point in Equatorial Guinea to secure first place in Group B and that is what they got from a 1-1 draw with Oussama Darragi equalising for the 'Carthage Eagles'.Ghana, who were quarter-finalists the last World Cup, took a significant step toward reaching the play-offs with a 2-0 win over Lesotho in Maseru thanks to goals from Christian Atsu and captain Asamoah Gyan.The 'Black Stars' moved one point ahead of Zambia in Group D and host the shock 2012 Africa Cup of Nations champions in the final series of mini-league fixtures during September.South Africa took on Ethiopia before a sell-out 25,000 crowd needing at least a point to stay in contention and an attacking approach paid off on 34 minutes when Parker cracked a half-volley wide of Jemal Tassew into the far corner.But the 'Walyas Antelopes' -- 19 places below 'Bafana Bafana' (The Boys) on the African rankings -- levelled just before half-time when Getaneh Kebede rifled the ball into the net from close range after a scramble.The decisive goal came after 70 minutes when Parker fluffed an attempted clearance off an Ethiopian free kick, sending a flying header past goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune into his sown net.South Africa had several late half-chances but it was Ethiopia, who returned to the Africa Cup of Nations tournament this year after three decades in the doldrums, who came closest to scoring.Salah helped Swiss club Basel reach the Europa League semi-finals this year and he was once again the star for Egypt, scoring the only goal in the Mozambican capital five minutes before half-time.The 'Pharaohs' maintained the only perfect record in the African qualifying competition with a fifth consecutive victory and finish their schedule at home to second-place Guinea.A stoppage-time goal from substitute Wilfried Bony sealed victory for Ivory Coast, who recovered from conceding an early goal to lead 3-2 at half-time in a thriller at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.Toure bagged a first-half brace after Lacina Traore had equalised while Amri Kiemba and Thomas Ulimwengu scored for the 'Taifa Stars', who stayed third behind Ivory Coast and Morocco.Democratic Republic of Congo and six-time World Cup qualifiers Cameroon drew 0-0 in Kinshasa -- a result that eliminated the Congolese and left Libya with a two-point Group I lead.While new 'Indomitable Lions' coach Volker Finke will be relieved at avoiding a second loss in as many weeks after a 2-0 defeat by Togo, the absence of injured striker Samuel Eto'o was sorely felt.Saphir Taider scored early in the second half as Algeria triumphed 1-0 in Rwanda and Mali must beat Benin in Bamako later Sunday to prevent the 'Desert Foxes' making the play-offsJuvenal Edjogo converted a first-half penalty for the Equatoguineans in Malabo -- his fourth goal of the qualifying campaign -- and Darragi brought Tunisia level on 64 minutes from another spot kick.

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Egypt, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast reach play-offs

Gervais Kouassi Gervinho (L) of Ivory Coast vies with Erasto Nyoni of Tanzania on June 16, 2013 in Dar es Salaam. By Tony Karumba (AFP) JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Egypt, Ethiopia and Ivory Coast Sunday became the first countries to reach the play-offs in the Africa zone of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.A spectacular own goal by Bernard Parker gifted lowest Group A seeds Ethiopia a 2-1 triumph over 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa in Addis Ababa and an unassailable five-point lead with one round left.Mohamed Salah followed up a hat-trick against Zimbabwe last weekend by scoring the goal that earned Egypt a 1-0 win over Mozambique in Maputo and created an eight-point Group G gap over Guinea.Reigning African Footballer of the Year Yaya Toure netted twice in Dar es Salaam as Ivory Coast recovered from conceding a second-minute goal to defeat Tanzania 4-2 in Group C and they cannot be overtaken.Ghana, who were quarter-finalists the last World Cup, took a significant step toward reaching the play-offs with a 2-0 win over Lesotho in Maseru thanks to goals from Christian Atsu and captain Asamoah Gyan.The 'Black Stars' moved one point ahead of Zambia in Group D and host the shock 2012 Africa Cup of Nations champions in the final series of mini-league fixtures during September.South Africa took on Ethiopia before a sell-out 25,000 crowd needing at least a point to stay in contention and an attacking approach paid off on 34 minutes when Parker cracked a half-volley wide of Jemal Tassew into the far corner.But the 'Walyas Antelopes' -- 19 places below 'Bafana Bafana' (The Boys) on the African rankings -- levelled just before half-time when Getaneh Kebede rifled the ball into the net from close range after a scramble.The decisive goal came after 70 minutes when Parker fluffed an attempted clearance off an Ethiopian free kick, sending a flying header past goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune into his sown net.South Africa had several late half-chances but it was Ethiopia, who returned to the Africa Cup of Nations tournament this year after three decades in the doldrums, who came closest to scoring.Salah helped Swiss club Basel reach the Europa League semi-finals this year and he was once again the star for Egypt, scoring the only goal in the Mozambican capital five minutes before half-time.The 'Pharaohs' maintained the only perfect record in the African qualifying competition with a fifth consecutive victory and finish their schedule at home to second-place Guinea.A stoppage-time goal from substitute Wilfried Bony sealed victory for Ivory Coast, who recovered from conceding an early goal to lead 3-2 at half-time in a thriller at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.Toure bagged a first-half brace after Lacina Traore had equalised while Amri Kiemba and Thomas Ulimwengu scored for the 'Taifa Stars', who stayed third behind Ivory Coast and Morocco.Tunisia need a draw in Equatorial Guinea later Sunday to make the play-offs and Algeria will also reach the final elimination round for Brazil if Mali fail to defeat Benin in Bamako.

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Gbagbo ally says he fears torture if returned to Ivory Coast

Former Ivory Coast Budget Minister Justin Kone Katinan leaves court on June 11, 2013 in Accra. By Chris Stein (AFP/File) ACCRA (AFP) - A former Ivory Coast minister and key ally of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo said on Wednesday that he fears torture if he is extradited back to Ivory Coast from Ghana.Justin Kone Katinan, Gbagbo's spokesman and an ex-budget minister, has been fighting extradition since authorities in neighbouring Ghana arrested him last August.Ivorian authorities have accused him of 20 counts of robbery and conspiracy to rob, and Katinan was in the witness box for the second day to defend against those charges."They will torture me and I'll become disabled" if he returned to Ivory Coast, Katinan told reporters outside the court in Ghana's capital Accra.Katinan said he was almost sent to Ivory Coast immediately after his initial arrest in August, but was saved by his attorney showing up in court in time to challenge the extradition.He said he fled to Ghana shortly before the downfall of Gbagbo because he heard that he and former interior minister Desire Tagro were to be killed by those loyal to President Alassane Ouattara.Tagro died in mysterious circumstances at the time of Gbagbo's arrest."If I wanted to save myself, I had to run away," Katinan said.Forces aligned with both Ouattara and Gbagbo have been accused of human rights violations during the 2011 post-election crisis during which more than 3,000 people were killed.Rights group say Ouattara's regime has prosecuted hundreds of supporters of Gbagbo, but few of its own supporters for crimes committed during the fighting.The crisis was sparked when Gbagbo refused to concede defeat in 2010 presidential elections.Katinan is trying to prove that the charges against him are politically motivated in order to avoid extradition from Ghana.Gbagbo was arrested in April 2011 and is in custody in The Hague as judges at the International Criminal Court determine whether there is enough evidence to try him on charges of crimes against humanity.

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ICC wants more evidence before charging I.Coast’s Gbagbo

Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo (R) attends a pre-trial hearing in The Hague, on February 19, 2013. By Michael Kooren (Pool/AFP/File) THE HAGUE (AFP) - The International Criminal Court said Monday it wanted more evidence before deciding whether to try Ivorian ex-president Laurent Gbagbo for crimes against humanity for his role in a bloody election standoff two years ago."The pre-trial chamber adjourned the hearing on the confirmation of charges and requested the prosecutor to consider providing further evidence or conducting a further investigation" into the charges presented against Gbagbo, the court in The Hague said in a statement.Gbagbo, 68, is accused of fomenting a wave of violence that swept the west African nation after he refused to concede defeat in November 2010 polls.Four months of fighting followed, ravaging the world's largest cocoa producer and leaving some 3,000 people dead, according to the United Nations, many of them perceived supporters of election winner and current Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.Gbagbo was captured in mid-April 2011 when Ouattara's forces, with French and UN backing, overran his heavily fortified compound in the southern Ivorian economic capital Abidjan.He was transferred into the custody of the ICC -- which had issued an arrest warrant against him -- some seven months later and has been held in the ICC's detention unit in The Hague ever since.

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Militia chief suspected in I.Coast killings arrested: army

Coffins of victims of the post-electoral crisis and armed conflict in Abidjan on October 13, 2011. By Sia Kambou (AFP/File) ABIDJAN (AFP) - A militia chief in Ivory Coast, suspected of taking part in deadly post-election violence in 2011, was arrested Saturday in his western stronghold, a military source said.Amade Oueremi, the head of an armed group that for years has occupied the Mont Peko forest in western Ivory Coast, "surrendered" to an Ivorian army detachment, a source in army headquarters told AFP."His men are in the process of being disarmed," the source added.Rights groups suspect Oueremi, of Burkinabe origin, of involvement in the killings that took place in Duekoue in March 2011, during the country's post-election unrest that left some 3,000 people dead.From his forest stronghold, Oueremi and his men, estimated at several hundred, have defied the authority of the state for a decade in a region rich in cocoa, of which Ivory Coast is the world's top producer.Their occupation has concerned the government of President Alassane Ouattara as it tries to bring security to the west of the country.Ouattara took office after the April 2011 arrest of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo who had refused to accept election defeat, drawing the country into a bloody conflict that claimed 3,000 lives.He is now facing trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

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Ivory Coast wants UN drone border surveillance

United Nations peacekeepers hold their position inside of the Akouedo military camp in Abidjan on August 6, 2012. By Issouf Sanogo (AFP/File) UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - Ivory Coast asked the United Nations Tuesday to monitor its border with Liberia with drones to make up for the expected decline in the global body's presence in the African country.Should a planned withdrawal of UN peacekeepers go into effect, Ivory Coast is seeking "the deployment of qualitative resources such as surveillance drones in the border area," said the country's UN envoy, Youssoufou Bamba.At the end of March, the UN Security Council had authorized the use of drones in the Democratic Republic of Congo to monitor that country's borders with Rwanda and Uganda -- a first for a peacekeeping mission.Several Council members had at the time insisted that the move did not set a precedent.The United Nations foresees reducing its roughly 9,000-strong operation in Ivory Coast, known as UNOCI. Discussions with the Ivory Coast government are ongoing."I would like to indicate that the Ivory Coast government believes that the current level is good," Bamba said during a Security Council debate on the situation.Several Liberian army units were deployed to border posts between the two countries last year to counter armed gangs raiding the Ivorian side from Liberia.The groups have targeted western Ivory Coast since the end of the country's 2010-2011 crisis, which left 3,000 dead in the wake of a disputed presidential election...

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