Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Russian aid convoy reaches Ukraine’s rebel-held Luhansk

    Read more

  • Gunmen kill scores in Iraqi Sunni mosque attack

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Africa

'God has given us victory', Gbagbo's wife tells rally

Video by Nicolas Germain , Matthieu MABIN , Johan BODIN

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-01-17

Increasingly isolated internationally, Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo counts on the support of his influential, Bible-wielding wife Simone to rally followers at home.

In a show of strength and defiance, Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo’s allies organised a rally on Saturday in Abidjan that drew around 4,000 supporters. Weeks after the international community, including African neighbours, recognized rival Alassane Ouattara as the winner of November 28 presidential run-off, Gbagbo continues to resist pressure to cede power.

Increasingly isolated internationally, Gbagbo is stirring up his support base at home. And Gbagbo’s influential wife Simone is an important actor on this battlefront. In Saturday’s rally she was the main attraction and did not hesitate to rail against Ouattara and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whom she now regularly calls “the devil”.

Gbagbo's wife is said to have much sway over her embattled husband and his supporters. And her power of persuasion was palpable at the rally. "The time for debates over the election between Gbagbo and the bandit chief [Oattara] is over," she said. "Our president [Gbagbo] has been vigorously placed in power and he is working.”

Simone Gbagbo is an evangelical Christian and references to God fill her colourful speeches. Saturday’s address was no exception.

“God is leading our fight,” “God has already given us victory,” and “God is with the people, God chose Gbagbo” were just a few of the remarks heard at the rally in Abidjan.

During the event a UN helicopter flew above the area several times, but Simone and others in Gbagbo’s entourage seemed unimpressed. To them, the UN soldiers are no longer a peacekeeping force.

“[The UN] transports the rebels. It organizes them. The UN radio has become the rebels’ radio,” said Charles Ble Goude, leader of the pro-Gbagbo youth movemet.

Simone's husband may not be recognised by the international community, but he still controls the state and the army in Ivory Coast.

Date created : 2011-01-16

  • IVORY COAST

    Ouattara reiterates calls for Gbagbo's removal by force

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    EU moves to freeze European assets of Gbagbo and allies

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Toll in Ivory Coast violence reaches 247 dead, 49 missing, says UN

    Read more

COMMENT(S)