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Africa

Gbagbo maintains blockade of rival despite vow

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-05

Ivorian strongman Laurent Gbagbo (pictured) is maintaining his three-week siege on rival president Alassane Ouattara's headquarters in the capital Abidjan, despite a vow to lift the blockade a day earlier.

AFP - Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo's troops blocked access to his presidential rival's headquarters Wednesday the day after he vowed to immediately lift the three-week siege, an AFP journalist reported.
             
Security and Defense Forces (FDS) roadblocks barring access to the Golf Hotel where Alassane Ouattara and his camp have been besieged since violence flared after disputed November elections were still in place at 1000 GMT.
             
Security forces at one roadblock told an AFP journalist that access was "closed", and at another indicated that they should do a U-turn as they approached despite Gbagbo's promise announced by African mediators on Tuesday.
             

The hotel has been protected by around 800 United Nations peacekeepers as well as former rebels allied with Ouattara since Gbagbo troops shot dead several of his supporters as they marched on state television on December 16.
             
African leaders struggling to mediate an end to the crisis said on Tuesday after a day of shuttle diplomacy in Abidjan that Gbagbo had promised to lift the blockade on Ouattara, the man the world says won the presidential run-off.
             
The African Union's mediator, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, said in a statement on Wednesday that "Mr. Gbagbo has kept his word on the blockade which he lifted at around midday yesterday."

Date created : 2011-01-05

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