Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles (part 2)

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Over 70 killed in Nigeria bus station terror attack

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Pornagraphy without borders is key benefit of EU, says French MEP

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

ENCORE!

“Booty Looting” memory and mediums

Read more

WEB NEWS

Another Google Glass wearer attacked in San Francisco

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Sustainable cuisine

Read more

DEBATE

Eastern Ukraine: the escalation (part 2)

Read more

  • Rescue effort under way after ferry sinks off S. Korean coast

    Read more

  • Putin says Ukraine 'on brink of war' as Kiev moves to evict separatists

    Read more

  • Syria “torture” photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • Berlusconi sentenced to community service for tax fraud

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

  • US to mark one year since Boston Marathon bombing

    Read more

  • Deadly fire rips through Chile’s Valparaiso for third day running

    Read more

  • India's Supreme Court establishes third gender category

    Read more

  • Bluefin-21 'mini-sub' to redeploy for Malaysian jet

    Read more

  • Paris hotel that hosted Holocaust survivors shuts for renovation

    Read more

  • Guardian, Washington Post win Pulitzers for NSA revelations

    Read more

  • French police begin mass DNA test in hunt for school rapist

    Read more

  • Americas to see 'Blood Moon' total lunar eclipse

    Read more

  • France looks to lift ailing economy with business-friendly diplomacy

    Read more

Africa

Gbagbo lieutenant calls for siege on rival headquarters

©

Video by AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-12-30

Incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo's most notorious lieutenant called Wednesday for Ivorian youths loyal to Gbagbo to lay siege to presidential challenger Alassane Ouattara's hotel headquarters on Saturday to "liberate" the country.

AFP - Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo's most notorious street lieutenant has vowed that the country's youth will rise up from Saturday and seize his rival Alassane Ouattara's headquarters.

"From January 1, I, Charles Ble Goude and the youth of Ivory Coast are going to liberate the Golf Hotel with our bare hands," the leader of Gbagbo's radical Young Patriots told a cheering crowd in Abidjan on Wednesday.

"It's the moment to liberate Ivory Coast," he declared.

Ouattara has been recognised as Ivory Coast's elected president by world powers but his shadow government is besieged in Abidjan's Golf Hotel, protected by an 800-strong force of UN peacekeepers and by former rebel fighters.

Political showman and faction leader Ble Goude is now Gbagbo's minister for youth and employment, but he is best known for stoking bloody anti-French riots in 2004, a role which saw him placed under United Nations sanctions.

He had cancelled a large-scale street rally planned for Wednesday, saying he wanted Ivory Coast's political stand-off to be resolved by regional diplomacy, but held a smaller meeting for several thousand die-hard supporters.

"We are ready to die for this Ivory Coast," he declared, while insisting that his supporters were unarmed and hoped to triumph through strength of numbers and will against Ouattara's men.

Both the incumbent and Ouattara claim to have won Ivory Coast's November 28 election run-off but the international community has recognised the latter as president, based on vote results endorsed by United Nations monitors.

The West African regional bloc ECOWAS has threatened military intervention, but its mediators are engaged in shuttle diplomacy between various capitals and neither side in Abidjan appears ready to back down.

Tension is mounting in and around the Golf Hotel, a waterfront resort on the outskirts of the port city which Ouattara and his supporters had turned into an election headquarters and has become an armed camp.

The shadow government in the hotel is guarded by a small contingent of former northern rebel fighters dubbed the New Forces, and the grounds are shielded by armed UN peacekeepers backed by armoured cars.

Access to the area is blocked by Gbagbo's regulars, the Security and Defence Forces (FDS), working alongside what UN observers say are mysterious masked militia fighters armed with rocket-propelled grenades.

Ble Goude reserved particular venom for the leader of the New Forces, Ouattara's choice for prime minister Guillaume Soro, who is also in the Golf.

"We must launch the assault on the Golf to capture Guillaume Soro," he said. "The people of Ivory Coast are tired of our annoying neighbours in the Golf Hotel Republic. Every day Guillaume Soro and his army threaten and mock us."

UN supply convoys are regularly blocked as they try to cross Abidjan -- one patrol was attacked on Tuesday by a mob of pro-Gbagbo youths and a Bangladeshi soldier was hurt -- and the hotel is supplied by UN helicopter.

The United Nations' top peacekeeping official accused the Ivory Coast state television controlled by Gbagbo of inciting hate against peacekeepers.

"These declarations I hear on RTI concern us. They incite the population to turn against us, even incite hatred," Alain Le Roy, head of the United Nations worldwide peacekeeping department, told reporters here.
 

Date created : 2010-12-29

  • IVORY COAST

    West African leaders plan more talks on leadership crisis

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Ivorian standoff resumes as Gbagbo spurns exile offers

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Gbagbo confronts ultimatum with vow to sever ties

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)