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Benin Peace Corps Murder Provokes Calls for Reform

While the 2009 murder of a Peace Corps volunteer in the West African country of Benin remains unaccounted for, activists and former volunteers are seeking reforms to the U.S. overseas service program.  A hearing last week in the U.S. Congress failed to bring answers from Peace Corps officials about the murder of Benin Peace Corps volunteer Kate...

Obama Calls Ivory Coast's Newly Installed President

U.S. President Barack Obama has called Ivory Coast's newly installed President Alassane Ouattara to congratulate him on taking power. The White House says Mr. Obama called Mr. Ouattara Tuesday, a day after forces arrested the country's former leader Laurent Gbagbo who had refused to step down. The White House says Mr. Obama and Mr. Ouattara...

France to Provide $580 Million to Ivory Coast

France says it will soon provide Ivory Coast with $580 million to help its citizens, restart public services and stimulate the economy.Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Tuesday the money will be available "in coming days" once financial circuits and security are restored.Lagarde said the money will fund emergency expenses for civilians, the...

UN Chief Calls on Ivory Coast to Embrace 'Historic Opportunity'

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Ivory Coast to take advantage of a "historic opportunity" for national reconciliation following the arrest of former leader Laurent Gbagbo.Ban spoke Monday with President-elect Alassane Ouattara, and stressed the need to ensure there is no retaliation against Gbagbo's supporters.The U.N. says it...

Benin Post-Poll Protests Raises Tensions

Benin police used tear gas and batons to disperse protesters contesting the re-election of President Boni Yayi to a second term, raising concerns of growing unrest in the country. Several hundred supporters of opposition candidate Adrien Houngbedji held signs, burned tires and rallied Thursday in the commercial capital Cotonou against what they...

Benin Court Confirms President's Re-election

Benin's constitutional court has confirmed the re-election of President Boni Yayi in this month's presidential poll, despite accusations of fraud by opposition leader, Adrien Houngbedji, who also claimed to have won the poll.The court has certified the results of the country's March 13 election, declaring incumbent President Boni Yayi the winner...

Benin's President, Opposition Clash Over Election Results

Benin's President Boni Yayi has claimed victory in the first round of presidential elections, but his top rival is disputing the results.A spokesman for Yayi says the president won re-election by a large margin over opposition leader Adrien Houngbedji, based on unofficial results from Sunday's election.But Houngbedji says he is ahead in several...

Benin Opens Presidential Election

Voters in Benin are casting ballots in a twice-delayed presidential election.President Boni Yayi is facing 12 challengers, most notably opposition leader Adrien Houngbedji, who the president defeated in 2006.Sunday's poll had been postponed twice to give electoral officials more time to register voters and set up polling stations. The opposition...

Multiple Problems Delay Benin Vote Again

The presidential poll in the small West African country of Benin has been delayed for a second time this year, as the electoral commission works to add more than one million voters to its electronic voters lists.  Benin was first scheduled to have a presidential poll in late February, but logistical problems, including concerns that more than one...

West Africa Stock Exchange Suspends Ivory Coast Trading

West Africa's regional stock exchange has suspended operations in Ivory Coast because of the country's political crisis. It is the latest in a series of financial closures that deepen the economic impact of the standoff between rival presidents.The regional bourse [stock exchange] is suspending all operations until further notice at its Abidjan...

Ivory Coast Political Crisis Deadlocked, West African Leaders Say

West African leaders say Ivory Coast's political crisis is deadlocked after another round of talks with rival presidents produced no apparent progress. The presidents of Sierra Leone, Benin, and Cape Verde met in the Nigerian capital to discuss the results of talks in Abidjan with Ivory Coast's presidential rivals, former prime minister Alassane...

ECOWAS: Ivorian Leader Leaves 'No Option' But Force

An official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said the sub-regional bloc has no option other than to “activate a legitimate force” to remove Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo from power. His comment came after African leaders again failed to persuade Mr. Gbagbo to do so in another attempt Monday. Sonny Ugoh, ECOWAS...

US Willing to Help Ivory Coast's Gbagbo Make 'Dignified Exit'

As West African leaders press Ivory Coast's incumbent president to cede power to the winner of the country's recent presidential election, a U.S. official says Washington is willing to help Laurent Gbagbo make a "dignified exit."  But, State Department officials say Mr. Gbagbo has shown no signs of leaving Ivory Coast. West African mediators had...

ECOWAS Leaders Return to Ivory Coast Monday Not to Negotiate

Three presidents from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are expected in Ivory Coast Monday to reiterate the regional bloc’s demand that embattled President Laurent Gbagbo leave power and give way to his rival Alassane Ouattara. The leaders will be joined by African Union envoy and Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Odinga. Traveling...

Gbagbo Aide: Monday’s Meeting Starting Point to End Ivorian Crisis

A special adviser to embattled Ivoirian President Laurent Gbagbo has denied a scheduled meeting today (Monday) by a group of sub-regional and continental leaders will aim to persuade Mr. Gbagbo to peacefully step down and go into exile. Ambassador Yao Gnamien said the arrival of the leaders will be the starting point of resolving the country’s...