Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Virunga Park chief shot

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algeria's media: a mixture of censorship and free speech

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

FOCUS

Bitcoin in the US: A monetary revolution?

Read more

ENCORE!

Fast cars and slow trains

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

FACE-OFF

François Hollande: France's most unpopular president

Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • Low turnout in Algerian election tipped to return Bouteflika

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Hundreds still trapped in sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Deadly attack on civilians sheltering in UN base in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Eurostar train delay "chaos"

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

Africa

World leaders pile pressure on Gbagbo to step down

©

Video by Nicolas Germain , Karim YAHIAOUI

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-12-18

As Ivory Coast’s leadership crisis drags on, world leaders, led by the UN, the EU and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, called on Ivorian incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo to admit defeat before the end of the weekend.

Incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo must admit defeat and quit his post following last month’s disputed presidential election, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on Friday.

The call came as the EU and France threatened to impose more sanctions and urged army chiefs in the West African country to defect to Alassane Ouattara, whom the international community overwhelmingly recognises as the legitimate president.
 
“There was a clear winner. There is no other option," Ban Ki-Moon told reporters in New York. “The efforts of Laurent Gbagbo and his supporters to retain power and flout the public will cannot be allowed to stand. The international community must send this message - loud and clear. Any other outcome would make a mockery of democracy and the rule of law.”
 
Meanwhile, a statement published at the end of an EU summit “called on all Ivorian leaders, both civilian and military who have not yet done so, to place themselves under the authority of the democratically elected president, Mr Alassane Ouattara.”
Nicolas Sarkozy, president of France, Ivory Coast’s former colonial ruler, gave Gbagbo 48 hours to step down.

“If, by the end of the week, he, Laurent Gbagbo - and his wife - has not left the post he is occupying in violation of the will of the Ivorian people, they will be added by name on the list of sanctions,” he warned.

“There is no other possibility than for Gbagbo to leave as soon as possible an office he usurped,” Sarkozy added.

Deadly violence

Ivory Coast’s economic capital Abidjan was a “ghost town” on Friday following clashes between troops loyal to the rival presidential contenders on Thursday.

At least 30 people were killed during the day as former rebels loyal to Ouattara's Prime Minister Guillaume Soro fought fierce gun battles with Gbagbo's government security forces in the sky scraper-lined city.

It was the first major outbreak of deadly violence since the November 28 presidential run-off.

On Friday the tension remains high although there have been so far no reports of fighting in the city.

“Abidjan is a ghost town,” said FRANCE 24’s Cyril Vanier, reporting from Ivory Coast. “The shops are closed and very few people are venturing out into the streets.

“The army controls all routes leading in and out of Ouattara strongholds. The situation remains very tense.”

In the wake of the disputed results, both Gbagbo and Ouattara have sworn themselves into office and appointed cabinets.

Another African emissary in town for talks

The West African nation has been in crisis since the Nov. 28 run-off. The political stalemate has ground economic activity in the world’s largest cocoa-growing nation to a halt.

In the latest attempt to resolve the situation, Jean Ping, chairman of the African Union

Commission, is set to hold talks with Gbagbo and Ouattara in Abidjan on Friday.

Ping’s visit follows earlier mediation efforts by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who failed to broker a resolution.

The AU - and the international community – is facing difficulties in trying to get Gbagbo to step down.

“It’s not clear what specific bargaining chip, if any, John Ping has when he begins his negotiations,” said Vanier.

Following Thursday’s violence, the US warned Gbagbo that he has “limited time” to cede power to his rival Ouattara.
 

Date created : 2010-12-17

  • IVORY COAST

    Dozens killed in clashes amid presidential showdown

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)