Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

  • Deadly shelling strikes Gaza UN school

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Europe launches last resupply ship to space station

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fuel fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

Africa

France calls for Gbagbo to hold back troops

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-12-20

French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie on Sunday demanded that Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo call on his troops to step back amid a standoff with supporters of Alassane Ouattara, whom France has backed as the winner of a Nov. 28 election.

AFP - France demanded Sunday that Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo hold back his troops, as tensions escalated in his standoff with Alassane Ouattara, declared winner of presidential elections.
              
"If he does not want to have deaths on his conscience, he needs to hold back his troops," Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie told French media.
              

Longtime ruler Gbagbo has refused to stand down after disputed November 28 elections and retains control of the southern armed forces, with Ouattara backed by former rebel fighters from the north.
              
Alliot-Marie said Gbagbo faced a choice in the coming hours: "Is he going to be someone who will stay in history as a democrat, or someone who will leave the image of someone who has fired on Ivorians?"
              
French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday called for Gbagbo to quit office by the end of the week to avoid sanctions.
              
Alliot-Marie dismissed Gbagbo's demand for UN and international forces to withdraw, but said France's 900 troops in the former French colony would not intervene.
              
"It is up to the international force to act" if necessary, she said, adding that French troops would defend themselves if directly attacked under international conflict rules.
              

The UN said Sunday that post-election violence has left more than 50 people dead and more than 200 injured, and warned of human rights violations.
              
Ouattara's victory in the elections has been recognised by the international community -- including the African Union and the United Nations Security Council.
              
Supporters of both rivals for the Ivorian presidency clashed at demonstrations in central Paris Sunday, leaving two people injured, police said.
              
Between 200 to 300 pro-Gbagbo demonstrators gathered at the Place de la Republique for a march when about 100 pro-Ouattara showed up and clashes broke out, said police, who stepped in to separate the opponents.
              
Brigitte Kuyo, a representative in France from Gbagbo's political party, said they were there "to denounce the interference by Sarkozy and the international community.... The Ivory Coast is a sovereign nation."
              
Some protestors held placards saying "Gbagbo, president" and "Ivorians say no to the French army, no to the ONUCI (UN forces), no to the occupation."
              
Ouattara's backers, kept at a distance by police, chanted "ADO, ADO" -- the initials of their candidate. One supporter, Bamba Nemlin, told AFP: "Gbagbo lost, he must go."

 

Date created : 2010-12-19

  • IVORY COAST

    UN chief rejects Gbagbo’s call to leave Ivory Coast

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Gbagbo govt tells French and UN forces to leave Ivory Coast

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    World leaders pile pressure on Gbagbo to step down

    Read more

COMMENT(S)