Regional bloc backs Ouattara as President of Ivory Coast
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 08, 2010, 13:08
Abuja: West African nations on Wednesday asked Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo to accept his rival Alassane Ouattara as the country's new President and immediately hand over the power to him.

Leaders of regional bloc Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), who met here to review the political impasse in the West African country, ordered Gbagbo to immediately hand over the power to Ouattara.

Chairman of the regional body and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan read out the decision of the member states which included the suspension of Ivory Coast from all ECOWAS activities.

"The summit called on Laurent Gbagbo to abide by the results of the second round of Presidential elections as certified by UNOCI and to yield power without delay, in the best interest of the Ivorian people," the communique said.

A presidential runoff on November 28 between the two men was expected to end an eight-year political problem in the country but the intervention of Gbagbo led to the emergence of two presidents and two prime ministers.

The electoral commission declared Ouattara winner but the incumbent President Gbagbo reviewed the election and declared himself winner.

Both swore themselves in on the same day thereby raising the fear of possible outbreak of civil war.

The country had witnessed a civil war in 2002 in which the government controlled the south while the rebels ruled the north.

The UN has 9,000 peacekeepers in the country and has put in efforts toward reunification.


First Published: Wednesday, December 08, 2010, 13:08

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