Ouattara denies being behind Abidjan clashes


ABIDJAN – The government of Ivory Coast’s internationally recognised president on Thursday rejected strongman rival Laurent Gbagbo’s charges that his camp was behind deadly unrest in parts of Abidjan.
“We reject these accusations,” Alassane Ouattara’s government spokesman Patrick Achi said after army chief of staff General Philippe Mangou accused his camp of orchestrating attacks on Gbagbo’s Defence and Security Forces (FDS).
“It’s the security forces who once more have sought to provoke the peaceful population. We will not respond to these provocations,” Achi told AFP. Abidjan’s Abobo and Anyama districts, bastions of Ouattara, the man the world says won November’s presidential vote, were on Wednesday placed under nighttime curfew after two days of clashes in which at least 11 people died. Gbagbo loyalist General Mangou appeared on state television late Wednesday to denounce attacks on his FDS that he said amounted to “acts of war.” “Not a day does by that the FDS… are not the main targets of hidden individuals answering the endless calls for civil disobedience, armed insurrection and murder of all sorts made by the politicians holed up in the Golf Hotel.” Ouattara’s camp has been besieged by Gbagbo’s forces at Abidjan’s Golf Hotel resort, where they have for weeks been protected by United Nations peacekeepers and former rebels from the New Forces. At least 200 people have died in the stand-off pitting Gbagbo against Ouattara.
The international community has demanded that incumbent Gbagbo stand down or face regional military intervention. “What would be the interest for Ouattara’s camp?” said Achi. “We don’t have anything against the people, or the security forces. We simply want the outgoing president to leave power peacefully.”