, NAIROBI, Dec 17 – Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said on Friday that Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo should be forcibly removed from power after refusing to step down as president.
"Gbagbo must be forced out, even if it means by military force, to get rid of him," Odinga told a press conference in Nairobi.
"The world must be prepared to move, even with military force, to preserve democracy," he said.
Odinga was also critical of the 53-member African Union, arguing it was time the pan-African body turned words into action against Gbagbo.
"The AU should not be sitting and lamenting all the time… otherwise they will become irrelevant. The AU should develop teeth," he said.
"This is rape of democracy, in an electoral process there must be winners and losers."
Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara have both declared themselves president following last month’s election runoff in Ivory Coast.
The west African state’s electoral body had announced that Ouattara had beaten the incumbent but Gbagbo rejected the results and had himself sworn in, despite broad international support for his opponent.
Clashes between the two rival camps on Thursday left several people dead and the country on the brink of civil war.