Regional bloc backs Ouattara as President of Ivory Coast

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 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.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 13:08

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