Britain urges nationals to leave Ivory Coast

December 19, 2010 12:00 am

, LONDON, Dec 19 – Britain advised its nationals on Sunday to leave Ivory Coast as political tension escalated in the west African country following last month’s disputed presidential election.

The Foreign Office updated its travel advice, urging Britons to get out by commercial means if it was safe to leave.

"Due to the threat of widespread instability and violence in Abidjan and other major cities British nationals are advised to leave Cote d’Ivoire by commercial means, if safe to do so, unless you have a pressing reason to remain," the new advice reads.

The Foreign Office still advises against all travel to Ivory Coast.

Britain has called for all sides to respect Alassane Ouattara’s victory in the November 28 presidential runoff, as Laurent Gbagbo clings to power.

Several hundred Gbagbo supporters rallied in London on Saturday, marching from the west African nation’s embassy to Prime Minister David Cameron’s Downing Street office.

They called for the United Nations and former colonial power France to stop meddling in Ivorian affairs.

The UN peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast rejected Gbagbo’s demand that it pack its bags Sunday, at the risk of provoking a showdown with his hardline supporters.


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