Mixed reactions in Guinea after Gbagbo’s arrest

Conakry, Guinea (PANA) - Monday's arrest of outgoing Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan was greeted with mixed feelings in Conakry, the capital of Guinea.

Whereas his critics and supporters agreed that he overstayed his usefulness, those who still have sympathy for him were angered by the role of the French forces in his arrest and subsequent humiliation.

Those interviewed here by PANA said Gbagbo should have stepped down with dignity after he was defeated by Alassane Ouattara in the country's presidential election.

They said his decision to cling to power at all cost, which has caused the death of over 1,000 Ivorians, has now caused him great humiliation.

Guineans are closely monitoring the post-election events in Guinea due to the proximity of the two countries and the massive presence of Guinean nationals in Côte d’Ivoire.

"If Gbagbo had not been arrested, dictatorship would have had a bright future in Africa and presidents who are beaten in elections would simply cling on to power,'' said Mrs. A. Diallo.

''It is good he was captured alive so that he can answer for his many heinous crimes," said the woman, who abandoned her husband in Abidjan and whose property were looted at the height of the post-electoral crisis.

However, some supporters of Mr. Gbagbo, even while denouncing his stubbornness in clinging to power, accused the the French forces of exceeding their mandate by assisting in Gbagbo's arrest.

They said Ouattara would face a big challenge in reconciling the country, especially among Gbagbo's supporters.
-0- PANA AC/AAS/SOC/JEN/SEG 12April2011

12 Abril 2011 12:55:26




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