Angola: No mercenaries to Ivory Coast

2010-12-26 20:07

Luansa - Angola denied on Sunday that mercenaries from the country were operating in Ivory Coast, following reports that defiant strongman Laurent Gbagbo's camp had recruited hired guns from Angola and Liberia.

"The Angolan government vigorously denounces the smear campaign saying that Angolan mercenaries or soldiers have been seen in Ivory Coast," said state news agency Angop.

"The Angolan executive believes these false reports are part of a habitual strategy of foreign interference in the continent's affairs, aiming to malign its leaders and institutions and further manipulate public opinion to justify the inevitability of a war."

The statement came after the United Nations' top peacekeeper, Alain Le Roy, said last week the UN had confirmed that Gbagbo forces were working with foreign mercenaries in their bid to gain the upper hand in the political stand-off between Gbagbo and presidential rival Alassane Ouattara.

Diplomats said the mercenaries appeared to be from Liberia and Angola.

Gbagbo has deployed his security forces to crush protests and blockade the hotel where his presidential rival, Alassane Ouattara, is holed up with supporters.

Ouattara and Gbagbo have been locked in a political stand-off for nearly a month after both claimed to have won the November 28 presidential election.

No external interference

The UN, the United States, the European Union and the African Union have all declared Ouattara the winner, and the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has threatened to launch a military intervention if Gbagbo does not step down.

Angola has been one of the few countries to show support for Gbagbo.

When Gbagbo had himself sworn in over international objections on December 4, Angola's was one of the only ambassadors not to boycott the ceremony.

Two days later, Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has been in power since 1979, met with a Gbagbo envoy in Luanda.

Angolan Foreign Minister Jorge Chicote said last week the country has a policy of "no external interference" in Ivory Coast.

Angop said Sunday that the Dos Santos government wants to see a "peaceful and negotiated settlement" to the crisis.

"The Angolan government notes with much apprehension the fact that all the measures taken until now by the international community are leading Ivory Coast inevitably to war," it said.

  • Sambonge - 2010-12-29 00:00

    CHIPACHONGUE If the international world tackles militarily Ggabo, Next should be Jose Eduardo do Santos. Dos Santos is a terrible threat to the renaiscance of the african democracy. Infact in Angola we ARE terribly fedup of him and we are under second colonialization. Im requesting Mr. Barack Obama to take action on Dos Santos because he is an African Sadam Hussein. He is a terrible threat to African Democracy. Kick him out of power please and we donĀ“t want long life president in this continent.

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