France calls for peaceful power transfer in Cote d'Ivoire

Paris, France (PANA) - France has called for the respect of the outcome of the presidential election and for a peaceful transition in Cote d'Ivoire, a spokesman of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bernard Valero, said here Monday.

Speaking at a press briefing, Valero stressed that Paris "is actively involved in ongoing discussions in the UN Security Council on a new draft resolution on Cote d'Ivoire, as well as in Brussels on targeted sanctions".

The French authorities have also rejected the ultimatum given by the outgoing president, Laurent Gbagbo, asking French forces to withdraw from the country before Sunday. There are about 900 French soldiers in Cote d'Ivoire.

Cote d'Ivoire was thrown into another political crisis following the second round of the presidential election held 28 November, after which the incumbent President, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to relinquish power after being defeated by the candidate of the Rally of Republicans (RDR), Alassane Ouattara.

The Independent Electoral Commission returned Ouattara winner of the election but the Constitutional Court quashed that result to name Gbagbo winner.

The international community has since asked Gbagbo to accept defeat but the incumbent president has refused. He even went ahead to name his government and is sitting tight at the presidential palace.

Ouattara, supported by the international community, has also named his administration and is operating from a hotel room, which has been attacked by forces loyal to Gbagbo.

According to various sources, between 10 and 50 people have already been killed in post-election violence that has followed the latest development.
-0- PANA SEI/SMD/VAO 20Dec2010

20 december 2010 17:58:36

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