Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • Web doc on French self-immolation protests takes top prize

    Read more

Africa

Ivorian opposition's call for general strike falls flat

Video by Louise Hannah

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-12-28

Most workers in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan have ignored a call by presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara's (photo) party for a general strike strike to force Laurent Gbagbo out of power.

AFP - Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo saw off another challenge to his rule Monday as a call for a general strike fell flat and he prepared to face-down an ultimatum from West African leaders.

Gbagbo's rival Alassane Ouattara, who has been recognised as president by the international community but is trapped in his besieged headquarters hotel protected by UN peacekeepers, had called for a national shut-down.

But the sprawling commercial capital Abidjan, one of West Africa's biggest ports and the key to controlling the country, was as busy as ever, its streets snarled with traffic jams and its street markets packed with shoppers.

Ouattara's party had called on all citizens to stop work and to stay off until Gbagbo stepped down. "We should not let them steal our victory," said the RHDP party, in a statement signed by its director, Alphonse Djedje Mady.

But the statement came out late, and was not carried by the pro-Gbagbo state media. The incumbent's security forces keep the south of the country in an iron grip, and a previous attempt to stage a protest was met with deadly force.

Gbagbo's next challenge will be a meeting Tuesday with leaders from Benin, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone, who come carrying a message from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that Gbagbo must step down.

There seems little chance of that, however, and Gbagbo has warned that ECOWAS' threat of military action could plunge the region into war and endanger the millions of West African migrants living in Ivory Coast.

"If there is internal disorder, a civil war, there will be dangers, because we will not let our law, our constitution, be trampled on. People should get that idea out of their heads," Gbagbo told the French daily Le Figaro.

"We're not afraid. We are the ones who are attacked. We have the law on our side. How far are those attacking us prepared to go?" he demanded.

Date created : 2010-12-27

  • IVORY COAST

    Plane belonging to Gbagbo grounded in Switzerland

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Gbagbo warns that ouster attempts could spark war

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Gbagbo rejects West African ultimatum as thousands flee

    Read more

COMMENT(S)