Gbagbo refuses to step down

2011-04-06 06:42

Paris – Laurent Gbagbo refused to step aside as Ivory Coast’s president despite the surrender of his military yesterday, he said in a telephone interview with French broadcaster LCI.

He also rejected French demands that he recognise opponent Alassane Ouattara as the winner of November’s presidential elections.

Gbagbo had been expected to shortly follow his military leaders in stepping aside after a rebel onslaught on the economic capital Abidjan brought his regime to its knees.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said earlier France was “on the brink” of convincing the incumbent president to step aside in favour of Ouattara, who is the internationally recognised winner of last November’s elections.

Gbagbo’s whereabouts were unclear, although he was believed to definitely still be in the capital. 

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