Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Todd Shepard, Author of 'The Algerian War and the Remaking of France'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Freed French Hostages: Celebration and Speculation on how it all happened

Read more

HIGH PROFILE

Justine Dupont, surfer

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Guillaume Poitrinal, Chief executive of Woodeum

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria

Read more

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues internet giants

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shocking revelations on South Korean ferry disaster provoke scathing editorials

Read more

HIGH PROFILE

Olivier Poussier, winner, world's best sommelier (2000)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Peugeot-Citroën hopes for sales boost at Beijing auto show

Read more

  • Boston readies for first marathon since bombings

    Read more

  • Deadly shootout in eastern Ukraine threatens Geneva deal

    Read more

  • S.Korea president says captain’s action akin to ‘murder’

    Read more

  • Abdullah widens lead in Afghan presidential vote

    Read more

  • Syria to hold presidential election on June 3

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

Africa

World powers demand Gbagbo cede power to Ouattara in Ivory Coast

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-12-08

World powers are demanding that Laurent Gbagbo stand aside for his rival Alassane Ouattara to take over the presidency. The potentially explosive standoff has damaged the economy and raised the specter of civil war.

AFP - World powers hustled Wednesday for Ivory Coast's defiant leader Laurent Gbagbo to quit after disputed polls but Russia blocked the UN Security Council from taking a joint stand against him.      

Ivory Coast's neighbours and world powers piled demands on Gbagbo -- in power since 2000 -- to stand aside for his old rival Alassane Ouattara, to end a potentially explosive standoff that has damaged the economy and raised fears of unrest.
             
But at the United Nations, Russia left its fellow permanent Security Council members miffed by continuing to block a council statement on the crisis, diplomats said.
             
With both Gbagbo and Ouattara claiming the presidency of the world's top cocoa grower, Ouattara's rival government pushed on with its programme meanwhile, hoping to ride the wave of international backing and seize the levers of power.
             
After Gbagbo unveiled his own new cabinet, Ouattara's prime minister Guillaume Soro said his rival government was replacing Ivorian ambassadors in key countries and was "taking measures" to gain control of public finances.
             
"It is we who have the power. It is now a matter of bringing it into effect," said Soro, leader of the New Forces former rebel movement that controls the north of the country, in a statement.
             
Gbagbo however retains nominal control of the army and state television channel RTI, denying Ouattara the means to broadcast directly to the Ivorian people he seeks to lead.
             
There was no further word on Wednesday from Gbagbo, who continues to occupy the presidential palace in Abidjan while Ouattara's government hunkers down in a hotel across town, heavily guarded by UN peacekeepers in armoured cars.
             
Last month's election was supposed to end a decade of instability in the west African country, stricken by a civil war in 2002-2003, but has instead has lapsed into deadlock that Ivorians fear could break into violence.
             
Clashes surrounding the election left at least 20 people dead, according to Amnesty International.
             
Ouattara kept up the attack on Gbagbo on Wednesday, warning: "His intransigence can only expose our country to dangers that damage it further."
             
Daily life has picked up in the main city Abidjan after several days of tense quiet and the borders, locked down by Gbagbo at the height of the election dispute, have reopened.
             
But residents complained that the price of essentials such as rice and butane gas has doubled, and the crisis is threatening the country's cocoa exports, driving up futures prices to a four-month high on Tuesday.
             
Mbeki called in as peacemaker in Ivory Coast
Soro, a former rebel, has several thousand New Forces troops behind him and has warned they could mobilise if Gbagbo does not cede power, but stressed: "We are not yet at the stage of using force."
             
Non-essential UN staff have nevertheless begun evacuating and Liberian officials say hundreds of people fearing violence have crossed into Liberia from western Ivory Coast.
             
Members of the UN Security Council have been trying to agree a common statement that could tip the balance in Ouattara's favour, but Russia held up the process, a diplomat told AFP.
             
"We are bewildered" by Russia's stance, said a Western diplomat.
             
Some analysts say Ouattara may be forced to reach out to Gbagbo to stabilise the country, but the president of regional grouping ECOWAS Goodluck Jonathan said that bloc did not want a negotiated unity government there.
             
Alassane Ouattara - Portrait
"From the experience we have had so far in Kenya and in Zimbabwe, it has never really worked and that's why we don't want to contemplate that," the Nigerian president Jonathan added.
             
African Union Chairman Bingu wa Mutharika on Wednesday demanded Gbagbo "respect the will of the people" and stand down. US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley repeated a call for Gbagbo to quit for "a peaceful transition."
             
South Africa, whose former president Thabo Mbeki is a mediator in the crisis, added its voice to these calls in a government statement, urging Gbagbo to "respect and abide by the declarations" of the AU and ECOWAS.

 

Date created : 2010-12-08

  • IVORY COAST

    West African bloc urges Gbagbo to cede power

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Defiant Gbagbo appoints cabinet as UN begins withdrawal

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Deadlock intensifies as rivals name their governments

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)