Côte d’Ivoire: the tension between supporters of Gbagbo and Ouattara
LEMONDE.FR with AFP, Reuters, AP | 13.12.10 | 3:57 p.m
The current situation is very tense in Abidjan, the Ivorian capital, where armed elements of the two presidents clashed Monday, December 13 around the hotel from where the government of Alassane Ouattara , President designated by the Independent Electoral Commission and the international community is operating. Security forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, the outgoing president, who also claimed his victory at the polls, have surrounded the hotel in Abidjan in the early morning. Roadblocks were established at each end of the road.
About fifty men in the Forces Nouvelles (FN), supporters of Mr. Ouattara, they faced, heavily armed. A spokesman for Mr. Ouattara said the deployment was preceded by a first attempt to install a military checkpoint near the hotel. “The New Forces rebels have dismantled the checkpoint. It shots were fired, they fired in the air ” , said Patrick Achi . In late afternoon the military checkpoints were still in place, noted the AFP, but there was no indication of an impending attack against the hotel.
“PROTECT THE GOVERNMENT OF M. Ouattara”
The Golf Hotel is the headquarters of Mr. Ouattara’s supporters and members of the government of his prime minister and leader of the FN, Guillaume Soro. It is secured by the FN, but also by peacekeepers. On Monday, about eighty soldiers of the UN mission ONUCI were alongside the Forces Nouvelles. A spokesman for the UN in New York said that UNOCI had “received orders to protect the government of Mr. Ouattara, in accordance with [its] mandate ” .
The army, which has pledged allegiance to Laurent Gbagbo, has made no immediate comment on the deployment. Over the weekend, she warned UNOCI and the French Licorne force deployed in Ivory Coast , not to “make war on the Ivory Coast” .
The European Union (EU) Monday decided to impose targeted sanctions against Ivorian President outgoing, Laurent Gbagbo. The foreign ministers of Twenty-Seven have adopted a ban on visas to Europe and a freeze of financial assets to any person who “block the peace process and national reconciliation and in particular threatens the outcome of the process election ” .
The International Monetary Fund for its part said it would offer no cooperation in the framework of an international aid program of three billion dollars as the current government will not be erased. On Thursday, French Foreign Minister, Michele Alliot-Marie , had felt it was important to maintain a “pressure” international, considering premature to talk of sanctions. They had however not excluded.
Like the EU, the United States, the African Union, ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States Western) and the Security Council of the United Nations have all recognized the victory of Mr. Ouattara.
Guillaume Soro, the prime minister said Monday in a statement on Friday wanting to stay at the seat of government. “To address the concerns of Ivorians and to shorten the suffering of people, the government will complete the Government Council the premises of the Prime Minister at the Plateau ” , the administrative district of the economic capital, he said.