Ivorian army chief assures population

Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) -- Cote d'Ivoire army chief of staff, General Philippe Mangou, has urged all segments of society to show responsibility and abide by democratic norms.
Speaking in Abidjan Wednesday, Mangou assured his compatriots that no disaster would occur on 30 October, when the mandate of President Laurent Gbagbo is supposed to officially come to an end.
"For the past three years, the defence and security forces (FDS), the melting-pot of the nation, have worked hard to safeguard Republican order and guarantee individual liberties in Cote d'Ivoire.
That's why at this moment we are calling for a sense of responsibility.
We call on the youth to remain vigilant," he said during a meeting between the FDS and President Gbagbo.
Mangou also appealed to the entire political class to abide by democratic norms.
"It is high time we came back to our senses," added the army chief of staff, who also advised the population to work hard and honestly to maintain peace in Cote d'Ivoire.
"There will be no apocalypse for Cote d'Ivoire after 30 October.
The FDS relies on UN resolution 1633 in their quest for peace in Cote d'Ivoire.
They will not tolerate any diversions that will constitute bottlenecks towards peace," Gen.
Mangou insisted.
"The FDS will fight to the end to achieve peace and ensure the defence of properties, individuals and institutions of the republic," he said.
Meanwhile, Gen.
Mangou appealed to soldiers who have defected and joined rebel groups "to return home".
He also apologised to the Ivorian population for the different errors committed by the army.
The UN has endorsed a decision by the African Union to extend the mandate of President Laurent Gbagbo by 12 months and appoint a new Prime Minister to replace Seydou Diarra.
However, unarmed Ivorian opposition parties are against the decision and have decided since 26 October to withdraw their ministers from the cabinet.
They also proposed that the next Prime Minister be selected from their ranks.
The opposition Rally of Houphouëtists coalition and the New Forces (FN) have also rejected the UN resolution.
Instead, the FN proposed their secretary general Guillaume Soro, or another senior leader of the ex-rebels, André Dacoury Tabley, as candidates for the post of Prime Minister.

27 october 2005 13:33:00

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