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Dec
19

UN SECRETARY-GENERAL REJECTS GBAGBO’S ULTIMATUM THAT UN FORCE MUST LEAVE

LE MONDE
Côte d’Ivoire: Ban Ki-moon rejected the ultimatum of Laurent Gbagbo
LEMONDE.FR with AFP and Reuters | 19.12.10 | 10:19 • Updated 19.12.10 | 11:20

The UN operation has some 10 000 peacekeepers while the Licorne force of the former French colonial power about 900 men. AP / Sunday Alamba

The Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon , rejected, Saturday, December 18, the ultimatum of Laurent Gbagbo . The Secretary-General has warned of “consequences” if it launched an attack against these forces, according to his spokesman. The UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) “will fulfill its mandate and will continue to monitor all violations of human rights, incentives to hatred and attacks against peacekeepers” , a statement Spokesperson of the Secretary General.

Mr. Ban “is deeply concerned about attacks against a patrol of the UN and perpetrated by sentries at the headquarters of UNOCI, by elements of the Ivorian security forces apparently loyal to Gbagbo and the attack on Saturday against Observer UN military by Young Patriots, who injured two observers, ” it added. “There will be consequences for those who perpetrated or orchestrated such actions, or will in the future” , warns the Secretary-General’s statement.

UNOCI IN STATE OF ALERT

The head of UNOCI was fired at by “armed men wearing military uniforms” in the night from Friday to Saturday in Abidjan, according to the UN mission. “We are investigating what happened,” said Hamadoun Toure , the spokesman of UNOCI, which believes that “the sentry on duty” had “responded well” . “We redouble our vigilance and we are prepared for everything” , added Toure, stating that UNOCI will “pursue ” patrols.

However, “we do not want confrontation” with the armed forces who have remained loyal to Mr. Gbagbo and “there are sensitive areas where we do not go, such as the presidency” of the Republic in particular, located in the administrative district of Plateau in Abidjan, says he.

The army loyal to Laurent Gbagbo on Friday accused the military support of UNOCI forces supporting his rival Alassane Ouattara . Abidjan Thursday was the scene of violent clashes between the two camps. The request of Mr. Gbagbo is “ridiculous” because he “is no longer president,” said his part Saturday night to AFP Guillaume Soro, Prime Minister Ouattara.

The Security Council of the UN should discuss on Monday the situation in Côte d’Ivoire and renew the existing mandate of UNOCI, which expires December 31. The UN operation has some 10 000 peacekeepers and the Licorne force of the former French colonial power about 900 men.

Since the second round,on Nov. 28, tof he presidential election, Côte d’Ivoire has two presidents: Alassane Ouattara. who was declared winner by the Independent Electoral Commission and supported by the international community, and Laurent Gbagbo, declared elected by the Constitutional Council and who can count on the support of the chiefs of the army. “The government is asking the departure of UNOCI and force Licorne in Côte d’Ivoire and opposes the renewal of its mandate ” , said Jacqueline Oblé Minister of Education and spokesman of the Gbagbo government, on national television RTI. “UNOCI showed serious interference in the internal affairs of Cote d’Ivoire” , she added.

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