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Africa

Inside the presidential palace with Ouattara's men

Text by Jean-Baptiste Marot

Latest update : 2011-04-15

The dust has begun to settle in the days after forces loyal to President Alassane Ouattara won control of Abidjan. FRANCE 24 takes a look around the presidential palace, scene of a deadly standoff with troops loyal to former leader Laurent Gbagbo.

The presidential palace in the Plateau district of Abidjan, overlooking the Bay of Banco, was at the epicentre of the recent battle for Ivory Coast’s economic capital.

The palace was taken on Monday by the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast, who support the internationally recognised Ivorian president, Alassane Ouattara.

Forces loyal to former leader Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to cede power after losing a November run-off vote, relinquished the palace to Ouattara’s men after learning that Gbagbo had surrendered following a siege on the presidential residence in the nearby Cocody district.

The presidential complex is now under the control of Cherif Ousmane, formerly the regional commander in Bouake, a town that had become the de facto capital of the rebel-held north of the country.

Ousmane, nicknamed Papa Guepard ("Daddy Cheetah"), is a longtime Gbagbo opponent and was one of the leaders of an attempted coup against him in 2002.

 

 

Date created : 2011-04-15

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