Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

France: fighting political corruption with transparency

Read more

WEB NEWS

Using the web to further the cause: ISIS vs USA

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

  • US aid drops begin in besieged Iraqi town of Amerli

    Read more

  • Filipino UN troops escape Islamists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Algerian diplomats held by Islamists are freed in Mali

    Read more

  • EU mulls Russia sanctions as Kiev warns of 'full-scale war'

    Read more

  • Pakistani protesters clash with police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • UK boy with brain tumour found in Spain, parents held

    Read more

  • Poland's Tusk, Italy's Mogherini set for top EU jobs

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialists' annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • South Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    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)