Gbagbo plane grounded in Switzerland

2010-12-26 22:30

Paris - Authorities grounded a plane belonging to Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo on Sunday at an airport in Switzerland, the French government said.

The official aircraft of Gbagbo, who is defying international pressure to quit power, was blocked at the Basel-Mulhouse airport, jointly administered by French and Swiss authorities, a French foreign ministry spokesperson told AFP.

France and other world powers including the UN Security Council have been urging Gbagbo to cede power to his rival Alassane Ouattara, whom they recognise as the winner of a disputed presidential election last month.

The ministry's spokesperson Bernard Valero told AFP the plane was grounded in response to a request by the rival Ivorian government set up by Ouattara.

"The legitimate authorities (of Ivory Coast) asked us to ground the plane and that's exactly what we have done in response to their request," Valero said.

A spokesperson from the Swiss federal aviation authority confirmed that the plane was grounded at Basel-Mulhouse after it stopped there for servicing.

"The French authorities blocked the plane," the spokesperson said, without giving further details.

Gbagbo has been in power for 10 years and rejected UN-certified results that said Ouattara beat him in the November 28 run-off vote.

International leaders have warned the West African country could plunge back into civil war if Gbagbo clings on. Major powers have threatened diplomatic and financial sanctions against Gbagbo and his camp.

The European Union has already slapped visa bans on Gbagbo and 18 of his closest allies.

  • ArtGee - 2010-12-27 05:14

    "No airoplane , no fly...." Will this man be pisssed off? You bet!

      GUNTSCH - 2010-12-27 06:41

      No question about that

  • JC - 2010-12-27 05:30

    Wonder what Gbagbo has done over these last 10 years that he is hiding. Is this that the reason he does not want to step down. What is the plane doing in Switzerland. Did he send it there, under the quise of a maintenance service, with some more loot that he wanted to pay into a Swiss bank account. We know that the Swiss do not have any worries about that. Look at Bob. He started with bags of pennies which his first wife and a whole entourage carried into a bank many many years ago

      Sambonge - 2010-12-29 00:27

      My dear, in Angola we can´t even talk, the guy is since 1979 in power. Imagine!!!!!!!!! Can´t they help us too???????????????

      AJ - 2010-12-29 06:10

      @Sambonge - Dos Santos has billions stashed away, and of course the family has fingers in all the pies. Question: When Angolans have elections , what actually goes through their minds? For example, if one lives on a dollar a day why would one vote to give a guy who has taken billions another chance to steal even more?

  • exrhodesian - 2010-12-27 07:11

    Africa at it's normal self. Look at mugabe, he did exactly the same thing and he is still there and he and his wife are still stealing the country blind and they (Zimbo's) are too doff or blind to see it. You go for it boy you to will soon be wealthy. Speak to Bob and he will guide you on the correct path of total destruction of a country.

  • Blougroen - 2010-12-27 10:41

    So what is the difference between the outcome of the election in the Ivory Coast and the last Zimbabwean election ?? Both kept an illegitimate leader in place - but in Zimbabwe's case we have a leader allowed to stay who clasifies every thing white as a product of white colonisation and persues its complete eradication (dead or alive - rich or poor) - Unlike Ecowas this is supported by most of Zimababwe's southern neighbours (Botswana excluded) and primarily allowed by the South AFrican Government - would be interesting to see their take on Ecowas' stance - for if they support it their support for Mugabe becomes nothing other than naked racism. There truly is no other "African" reason for having allowed him to plunder democracy.

  • Premium Sec - 2010-12-27 12:05

    Democracy is responsible for corruption.

      Sambonge - 2010-12-29 00:24

      African poor thinking

  • mgv4life - 2010-12-27 13:09

    Will someone assassinate this guy already!!!!! jislaaik. tumi @ Ekurhuleni

      Sambonge - 2010-12-29 00:23

      Im fed up of long life leaders. Look at Angola, the guy is in power since 1979. Can´t Barack Obama see this????????????????

  • Clinton - 2010-12-27 18:58

    For what reasons did they ground the plane?

      Sambonge - 2010-12-29 00:19

      To stop the african primitive democracy

  • mmoledis - 2010-12-29 00:05

    I think that is high time for Africa to step its authority and all regional and continental organisations should now exercise their powers fully and not be in favour of any African leader who want to be a dictator and bring Africa into a disrepute and ungovernable continent, So let the Ecowasa, Au and SADC ACT WHILE THERE IS TIME! Who knows if they are busy trying to negotiate then a person they are negotiating with is on the other hand planning and offensive action? so let him be removed once and for all from power and go to exile we want a peaceful Africa and time must not be wasted as by doing so ordinary citizen of that country would suffer as the result of the delayed actions.

      Sambonge - 2010-12-29 00:21

      Please do the same to Jose Eduardo dos Santos, we are totaly exhausted of him. Imagine since 1979!!!! We are in trouble over here, please help us brothers

  • Sambonge - 2010-12-29 00:16

    Thats good, please all should join this struggle in favour of Democracy. No more long life lasting leaders

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