Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ouattara promises to restore order in Abidjan and U.S. calls for Gbagbo to step down

The Ivorian government of President-elect, Alassane Ouattara, vowed to quickly restore order and security in Abidjan, economic capital of Ivory Coast and the scene of looting and vandalism that accompany the fighting between forces loyal to Republicans and President Ouattara Outgoing, Laurent Gbagbo, for control of Abidjan.

Speaking to the Ivorian TV (TCI), Patrick Achi, Ouattara government spokesman, admitted the existence of failures in protecting individuals and property and the maintenance of public order. Achi militants accused Gbagbo supporters to be primarily responsible for the massive looting and robberies recorded during the day in several districts of Abidjan.

The spokesman said the militants have taken to the streets and armed the prisoners from the prison in Abidjan, including dangerous criminals, who have joined the vandalism. The goal of the Republican Forces now, Achi stressed, is to reduce the last pockets of resistance from rival forces: the headquarters of the Gendarmerie Agban and Le Plateau district, which is the Presidential Palace, refuge of Gbagbo .

The attacks on the President's Residence began in the early hours of Thursday after rejecting the ultimatum again Gbagbo Prime Minister Ouattara, Guillaume Soro, who was required to relinquish power before 19.00 GMT on Friday. Ouattara's government closed the borders until further notice and extended the curfew until noon Saturday.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has called on the UN and France to do everything possible to protect civilians in the African country. "We are very concerned about the violence that occurs and we ask all parties containment," said a spokesman for the Obama administration, he reiterated his country calls for the immediate departure of Gbagbo, who refuses to leave his post.

The spokesman said it was "impossible" for Washington to predict when Gbagbo, but "it seems that their time will end tonight," and urged him to leave power. "It is time to quit and prevent more bloodshed," he said. Furthermore, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has held a telephone conversation with Ouattara to address the situation in the African country.

After the call, of which details were not disclosed, France enjoined the outgoing president to withdraw to the cessation of violence to give the power to "immediately" to Ouattara.

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