Ivory Coast tightens surveillance of ousted regime official

Pascal Affi N`guessan was transferred to the hotel where Ouattara is based.

Updated: Apr 23, 2011, 10:04 AM IST

Abidjan: Ivory Coast authorities tightened the surveillance of a top official of deposed leader Laurent Gbagbo after he addressed the press, a minister said.

Pascal Affi N`guessan -- the head of Gbagbo`s party -- was transferred to the hotel where the country`s new President Alassane Ouattara is based, Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko said on Friday.

"We have decided to take him to the Golf (Hotel) for the moment," said Bakayoko. "We gave instructions, they are ignoring. Avoiding violations, if they are not disciplined, calls for putting them under conditions we are satisfied with."

Ouattara has taken the presidency of the west African country after his forces arrested Gbagbo on April 11, ending nearly five months of a tense standoff sparked by the strongman`s refusal to stand down after losing to Ouattara in November elections.

Gbagbo has been put under house arrest at a secret location in the north of the country.

Ouattara`s new government is struggling to secure the country and fully exercise authority, but has faced resistance from hardcore pro-Gbagbo militia occupying a district in the north of Abidjan.

N`guessan, also a former Gbagbo prime minister, had previously held a press conference under the watch of the new government forces during which he urged reconciliation.

Several senior military commanders have pledged allegiance to Ouattara, who said he will take oath of office in the second half of May.

Bureau Report