Raila demands Gbagbo step down in I.Coast

December 9, 2010 12:00 am

, CANCUN, Dec 9 – Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga demanded on Wednesday that Laurent Gbagbo accept defeat in Ivory Coast\’s election and urged the world to hold him responsible for the "chaos" since the vote.

"What is building up in Ivory Coast now is a tragedy Africa cannot afford this time and one that the international community must now allow at any cost," Odinga said on the sidelines of climate talks in Cancun, Mexico.

"The international community must hold Mr Gbagbo responsible for the chaos, the loss of lives and destruction of property in the West African state."

Odinga, himself in a power-sharing arrangement after disputed 2008 Kenyan elections led to bloodshed, said he joined others in "demanding that Mr Gbagbo hands over immediately and unconditionally" to rival Alassane Ouattara.

Official results showed incumbent Gbagbo failing to clinch re-election by a significant margin in the November 28 runoff against Ouattara. But he had himself sworn in regardless.

The West acknowledged Ouattara\’s victory, as proclaimed by the electoral commission. But Gbagbo, who has been president since 2000, has shown no sign he will concede defeat.

"I want to urge the international community — the UN, the EU, the US and the African Union — to stand with the people of Cote d\’Ivoire and ensure that their decision that Ouattara be their president is respected and upheld," Odinga said, using the West African nation\’s French name.


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