Ivory Coast: Alassane Ouattara’s Abidjan HQ surrounded

Source: BBC News 

Ivory Coast: Alassane Ouattara’s Abidjan HQ surrounded Ivory Coast troops have surrounded a hotel in the capital Abidjan housing Alassane Ouattara, the UN-backed winner of disputed presidential elections.

The troops loyal to incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo are facing UN-forces and former rebel soldiers who are protecting Mr Ouattara’s headquarters.

Both Mr Ouattara and Mr Gbagbo had declared themselves the winner of last month’s election.

Reports that there have been clashes could not immediately be verified.

The BBC’s John James in Abidjan says rumours abound in the capital that troops loyal to Mr Ggagbo plan to storm the waterfront Hotel Golf where Mr Ouattara and his team work, or that Mr Ouattara’s supporters might try to take control of state television.

The hotel is guarded by UN peacekeepers and fighters from the New Forces (FN), a former rebel group that still controls the north of the country and supports Mr Ouattara.

The troops supporting Mr Ggagbo reportedly include members of the presidential guard and gendarmes in trucks mounted with machine-guns.

EU foreign ministers have agreed to prepare sanctions against Ivorian officials refusing to recognise Mr Ouattara as the country’s new leader.

Sanctions would target “those who are obstructing the process of peace and national reconciliation, and in particular who are jeopardising the proper outcome of the electoral process”, the ministers said in a statement on Monday.


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