Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A "dignified exit" for Ivory Coast's defeated Prez--US official



The United States steps in to the picture.
Washington offered to help the defeated Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo to make a "dignified exit," but the incumbent head of state still wants to hold on to power despite international pressure.
The White House is in contact with officials in West Africa who visited Abidjan, according to State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley.
He said, "We hope that President Gbagbo will listen intently to the message that he needs to step down."
Crowley adds, "So far, he hasn't. But we certainly endorse what ECOWAS is trying to do today."
The US is evaluating the safety and security, as well as trimmed down the number of officials in its embassy in Ivory Coast capital.
"We continue to have a unified message to President Gbagbo that his time has come," said Crowley.
Leaders in the region who went to the country's capital on Monday tried but failed to convince the embattled president to leave the office.
Presidents from Benin, Cape Verde, and Sierra Leone, and the prime minister from Kenya met with Gbagbo.
The VOANews.com reported that there are many countries that have offered the defeated president asylum but there are no indications that he wants to step down.
The US confirmed Gbagbo's refusal to communicate with Washington by phone calls or to meet the American envoy.
The United Nations as well as other heads of states have recognized Alassane Ouattara as the newly-elected president of Ivory Coast following the 28 November elections.
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