afrol News, 30 November - Election observers have hailed Sunday's second poll round in Côte d'Ivoire, estimating turnout at around 70 percent. But now, tension is growing as the election commission has had to delay the results.
International election observers, including from ECOWAS, the European Union (EU) and the US-based Carter Centre, generally have hailed the organisation of the vital run-off between presidential candidates Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara.
Also the UN hailed Sunday's polls. The head of the UN peacekeeping force in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), said the mission was "encouraged to note that along all the five observation routes it established, representatives of both candidates were present in all the polling stations."
"As was the case on the day after the first round, the moment has come to safeguard the result. I have no doubt that the will of the Ivorian people, as expressed yesterday, will be respected. I also have no doubt that no candidate will resort to undemocratic means to express his position on the result of the poll," the UNOCI leader said.
Until now, the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) had done a good job, observers and the UN noted. "I invite everyone to have confidence in the CEI so that it can begin announcing the provisional results," the UN peacekeeping chief added.
But the CEI today has been halted in its work, seeing its offices blocked and receiving fraud allegations by both incumbent President Gbagbo and northerner and former PM Ouattara. As a consequence, the CEI announced it would delay the announcement of results, which were expected to start ticking in today.
President Gbagbo, a southerner, claimed there had been fraud and incidents of intimidation in the Muslim north of Côte d'Ivoire, the stronghold of opposition leader Ouattara. Mr Ouattara, for his sake, claims the CEI is instructed to falsify results in favour of the incumbent.
Followers of the two parties represented by Mr Gbagbo and Ouattara have a history of violent clashes. Only on Saturday, youths supporting the opposition demonstrated in Abidjan's northern suburb of Abobo after the Government declared a curfew. The protest degenerated into clashes with the security forces, resulting in the burning of a police vehicle and the death of three people among the demonstrators.
There is therefore an increased concern the announcement of the results could lead to further violence in Côte d'Ivoire; or even the north-south division to deepen again.
The elections, originally scheduled for as far back as 2005 and repeatedly postponed, were seen by the UN as "a major step in restoring stability in the country," which was split by civil war into a government-held south and rebel Forces Nouvelles-controlled north in 2002.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.