Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

FOCUS

Many Turks angry over Syrian refugee situation

Read more

ENCORE!

Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday : The Best of the Bard

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The Tour de France, a PR machine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the third plane crash in one week - from France, Algeria and Burkina Faso

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the plane crash that took 116 lives - almost half of them French

Read more

  • Live: ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Africa

EXCLUSIVE: Ouattara says Gbagbo 'can stay' in Ivory Coast

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-01-07

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, Alassane Ouattara dismissed calls for negotiations and said Gbagbo did not have to go into exile if he stepped aside. He also dismissed fears that military intervention could lead to a civil war.

In his first televised interview since the current post-electoral crisis broke out in Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara told FRANCE 24 on Wednesday that his presidential rival Laurent Gbagbo must cede power and if he did so, Ouattara would not force the Ivorian strongman into exile.

Furthermore, while Gbagbo has repeatedly warned that international military intervention in Ivory Coast could destabilise the region, Ouattara dismissed these fears.

Alassane Ouattara - Portrait

Ivory Coast will not 'ignite'

“Military intervention does not mean that the Ivory Coast will ignite,” said Ouattara, before adding: “All that needs to be done, as has been done in other African countries, is to come and get Gbagbo and remove him from the presidential palace.”

Speaking to FRANCE 24 from the Golf Hotel, a lagoon-side resort in the main Ivorian city of Abidjan that has become his government’s headquarters, Ouattara underlined however that he preferred a peaceful solution to the crisis.

Ouattara also dismissed any suggestion of trying to negotiate a power sharing deal with Gbagbo, maintaining that the incumbent’s recent negotiation offers were simply gimmicks to buy time.

'Gbagbo is trying to win time to recruit mercenaries'

“Laurent Gbagbo is trying to win time to recruit mercenaries and transfer suitcases full of money out of the country,” said Ouattara.

The international community has repeatedly called on Gbagbo to respect the outcome of the November 28 election and cede power to Ouattara. African leaders attempting to negotiate a solution to the power crisis have suggested sending the longstanding African leader into exile.

But in his interview with FRANCE 24, Ouattara said he would not force his arch rival to leave the country if Gbagbo's wish was to stay.

“I will welcome him to establish the terms of his stay in the Ivory Coast – or outside the country,” said Ouattara. “He’s at liberty to go or stay on Ivorian territory.”

On Christmas Eve, the West African regional grouping ECOWAS adopted a resolution threatening the use of military force if Gbagbo refused to accept the results of the November 28 polls. While both men claim to have won the runoff vote and have appointed their respective administrations, the international community has recognised Ouattara as the legitimate winner.

Gbagbo has accused the UN mission and a French military force in Ivory Coast of being involved in a campaign to topple him and interfere in Ivorian affairs.

DOES ECOWAS REALLY WANT TO SEND ITS TROOPS IN?

Date created : 2011-01-05

  • IVORY COAST

    UN to request up to 2,000 more troops for Ivory Coast

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Defiant Gbagbo ignores Ouattara's New Year deadline

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Ivory Coast faces real prospect of open conflict in 2011

    Read more

COMMENT(S)