Monday, April 4, 2011

French troops take control of Abidjan airport

Paris. .- The troops of the French Licorne mission, in coordination with the United Nations mission in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) today took control of Abidjan's international airport, said the French Army General Staff. France has also added 300 troops to the 1,100 that had already deployed in the Ivorian economic capital, where his troops are patrolling their neighborhoods expatriates and support the work of UNOCI.

A military spokesman told Efe that the takeover of the airport is intended to allow the landing of civil and military aircraft to foreign nationals who wish to leave the country. So far, however, French troops have not taken any action leading to the evacuation of those citizens, because it is a decision that belongs, according to the source, the foreign ministries of their countries.

Its sole purpose is to be prepared for any possible change in the situation and ensure the safety of foreigners in the place. The army said today that the number of expatriates who have taken refuge at the base of Port Bouet that troops have Licorne mission in Abidjan remains at 1,400, of whom one third are French nationals.

In Abidjan there have been widespread looting after the members of the Army, the Gendarmerie and the Police, so far supported the outgoing president, Laurent Gbagbo, on Thursday withdrew from the area, and galas as the Armed Forces, aliens reach the base to escape from these depredations.

Ivory Coast is experiencing a civil war after Gbagbo will not accept handing over power to Alassane Ouattara, internationally recognized as the winner of the presidential election last November. The French presidency said today that the head of state, Nicolas Sarkozy, will hold a further meeting at the Elysee with members of his cabinet to discuss the situation in the country.

France yesterday asked the warring parties in Ivory Coast to "strictly refrain from any and all violence against civilians and stressed that those responsible will be held accountable to justice. A day earlier he had ordered to Gbagbo to cede power to "immediately" to Ouattara and retire to end the violence.

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