Gbagbo 'stifled,' Paris says

March 17, 2011 at 12:44 PM
| License Photo

PARIS, March 17 (UPI) -- Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo is "gradually being stifled" as support grows for his rival Alassane Ouattara, a French official said.

African Union leaders continue to throw their weight behind Ouattara, who has a U.N. Security Council resolution recognizing him as the winner of a November presidential election.

The election was meant to unite a country divided by war in 2002 but clashes between rival camps are threatening to drag the country back into civil conflict.

French Foreign Minister of Alain Juppe told Europe 1 radio that pressure on Gbagbo is growing.

"Financial sanctions don't take a fortnight, they take several months," the minister said. "And today we can see clearly that Gbagbo is gradually being stifled."

Human Rights Watch in a chronicle of abuses in Ivory Coast said both sides are responsible for violence in the country, though forces loyal to Gbagbo might have committed human rights crimes during the conflict.

Juppe said he wasn't going to make any predictions on when Gbagbo would bow to growing international pressure but added his country would "do everything" to make sure Ouattara exerts power.

"That's what is gradually happening in Ivory Coast," he said.

Ivory Coast gained independence from France in 1960.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kurds plan to carve state out of Iraq after fighting stops, leaders say
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Van hauling fireworks catches fire on I-15 near California-Nevada border
Sean 'Diddy' Combs avoids felony rap for attacking UCLA coach
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot