Troops 'will retaliate in Ivory Coast'

2011-01-13 13:54
Abidjan - The head of the army is warning that his troops reserve the right to retaliate following two days of deadly clashes in an opposition stronghold neighborhood, raising concerns about more violence amid Ivory Coast's political crisis.

The residents of the Abobo area in Abidjan voted in large numbers for opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, whose victory in the November 28 presidential election has been recognised by the international community. Incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to cede power, still controls the military.

Authorities have imposed a curfew in Abobo and sent in a convoy of military trucks following the clashes that began on Tuesday after a police raid. At least four civilians and as many as seven police officers have been killed in the unrest.

"In order to find these people attacking the republic inside their hiding places, the armed forces of Ivory Coast want all human rights organisations, as well as the national and international community to know that these attacks against us are equal to acts of war…  putting us in a position of legitimate self-defense," army head Philippe Mangou said in a declaration read on state TV.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed deep concern about the violence in Abobo, and the UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky said that Ban urged both sides "to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid further clashes".

Gbagbo lost the election by a nearly 9-point margin according to results certified by the UN following a 2005 peace deal. That accord invited the UN to act as the final arbiter of the election, creating an independent mechanism for determining the outcome.

Blow to democracy

Elections in Zimbabwe and Kenya in recent years have ended with the opposition candidate forced to accept a power-sharing agreement with the sitting president, even though most observers say the opposition had won in both instances.

Country experts warn that Gbagbo is likely hoping for a similar arrangement and is using the tool of human rights abuses, including the military crackdown, as a way to raise the stakes.

Africa expert Jennifer Cooke of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said there is a strong aversion from both African and Western leaders to reinforce the precedent of "government by negotiation".

"The idea that an incumbent who loses an election need only hang on and threaten violence in order to obtain a power-sharing deal," she argues, "is a dangerous blow to democracy in a continent that will see some 15 national elections in the coming year."



Read more on:    ivory coast  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Low voter turnout in Togo

2015-04-26 20:33

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!

 
 

Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Innovation, idealism, romanticism and other far reaching dreams can lead you into a spiral of enthusiasm and excitement. Somewhere...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.