I Coast to send cops, paramilitary to border

2011-09-21 12:25

New York - Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said on Tuesday he will order police and paramilitary forces to the troubled border with Liberia after the death toll from recent attacks rose to 23.

Ouattara told the Council of Foreign Relations on Tuesday that he is confident order will be restored in the troubled region.

"It is difficult but we are certain" that the border can be controlled, he said.

The attacks started last Thursday when armed men from Liberia attacked villagers in the south-western Ivory Coast, which borders Liberia.

United Nations officials inside Liberia are also sending a team to investigate the killings.

Many backers of ex-Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo have taken refuge inside Liberia, adding to the unrest.

Ouattara bested Gbagbo in an election last November, but Gbagbo refused to cede power, leading to a violent standoff that ended when Ouattara was sworn in May.

Ouattara said it is possible that a December 15 date for parliamentary elections inside Ivory Coast will not be met because of resistance by supports of Gbagbo. He said Gbagbo supporters oppose new elections for fear of losing their seats.

"They know they will lose and everyone will know that Gbagbo was not elected," he said.