Cote d'Ivoire, Bamba Says Gbagbo Arrested Not By France But Ouattara
April 11, updated -- After wire services in Abidjan reported that the
French tanks from the Force Licorne assaulted the residence of
defiant leader Laurent Gbagbo, seized him and turned him over to
Alassane Ouattara's forces, Ouattara's envoy to the UN called Inner
City Press over.
colleagues,” he said. “I have an announcement to make.”
UN TV fine
tuned its microphone and Inner City Press announced the impromptu
stakeout by Twitter, Bamba stepped to the mic. As a major US news
channel begged him to do it “first in English,” Bamba announced
the arrest of Gbagbo in French.
asked Bamba to confirm or deny that the French Force Licorne actually
took custody of Gbagbo, then handed him over to Ouattara's forces.
denying it. The Forces Republicain de Cote Ivoire made the arrest.
to establish this basic fact. Moments later, as France's Permanent
Representative to the UN Gerard Araud and his spokesman walked into
the Security Council, Inner City Press asked them both, “Who
answered, or even turned back. It is unclear if this is related to
Press coverage of Cote d'Ivoire, click here
asked Bamba if he expected the Security Council to issue a statement
about the arrest of Gbagbo. “First they have to hear from [top
Peacekeeper Alain] Le Roy,” he answered.
announced that Le Roy would brief the Council at 10:30 am. As he went
in, Inner City Press asked him, “who arrested Gbagbo?”
Roy to his
credit stopped and answered. He said, “He's in the custody of
Ouattara forces, in Golf Hotel, we provide security.”
answer who arrested Gbagbo.
Update of 10:58 am
-- Inner City Press asked US Permanent Representative Susan Rice,
"who arrested Gbagbo, the forces of Ouattara?" She said she didn't have
more information, but "that's what the PR said," referring to Bamba.
reports say that over 30 French tanks (or armored vehicles), each with
four to eight French soldiers inside, moved on Gbagbo's residence on
Monday morning, after France and the UN hit it with air strikes
overnight. The question of who "made" the arrest is a broader one.
Ban & Juppe, joint demand of letter as condition not shown
Le Roy instructed a
staff member to show
him a cable before it is send to Ban Ki-moon's envoy Choi Young-jin.
asked Bamba if Ouattara's force intend to arrest Djedje. Bamba shook
his head and said, “He has been in the French embassy for some
sinking ship, a source snarks for Abidjan. A Permanent Five member
of the Council's spokesman told Inner City Press, of the (French)
arrest, “It is a strange precedent.” But would this member's
Ambassador come say this on camera at the stakeout, on the record?
Watch this site.
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As UN Downplays French Role, Dodges on Leaked
8 -- On Cote
the UN now claims that it was
only the Alassane Ouattara administration, and not France,
negotiating for Laurent Gbagbo to surrender.
asked chief UN Peacekeeper Alain Le Roy to explain French foreign
minister Alain Juppe's statement this week that UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon supports his position that Gbagbo must sign an agreement
ceding power to Ouattara. (Ban's own ostensible spokesman Martin
Nesirky told Inner City Press on the same question, “I don't speak
for the foreign minister of France.)
addressing Juppe or even mentioning his name, insisted that this
demand is that of Ouattara, and that the UN is only helping with the
Press asked against about France, Le Roy said that because Gbagbo's
former ambassador to the UN then foreign minister Djedje went to
France - Le Roy said either the residence or embassy - France was
Inner City Press was told that Djedje may no longer represent Gbagbo,
at least according to Simone Gbagbo.
asked Ouattara's ambassador to the UN Yousoufou Bamba, who said both
that he had once been Djedje's boss -- “he worked for me” -- and,
rhetorically, “foreign minister of what?”
wonder “where is Simone Gbagbo?” Where indeed.
at the UN's noon briefing on Friday asked Nesirky:
President Ouattara has said that he intends to, quote,
“starve out”, i.e., blockade the residence of Gbagbo so that no
water or food goes in and so then he has to come out. And I just
wondered what is, not Mr. Le Roy or Mr. Choi Young-jin, what’s the
Secretary-General, what’s his position on that?
as you know, it is in the title that Alain Le Roy is
Under-Secretary-General reporting to the Secretary-General. He is in
charge of peacekeeping operations. And what is happening with the
Mission in Côte d’Ivoire, he will be briefing the Council and
after that, I am sure he will be happy to speak to you, including on
that topic, if he has an update.
did ask Le Roy, who said that the UN does not engage in starving
people. He was then asked if the UN will then provide food and water
to Gbagbo. I haven't thought about it, he said, maybe.
Roy went on to
say Gbagbo used the delay of negotiations to “regain full control
of the Cocody and the Plateau.”
City Press also asked
on Côte d’Ivoire, [inaudible] press has
published some documents about Licorne, writing to the UN Mission
Côte d’Ivoire about alleged violations of the arms embargo by
Gbagbo, et cetera. And what I am wondering is what, the question has
come up is how close, how would you describe the coordination between
UNOCI and Licorne? Is it limited to military actions? Does UNOCI
receive letters from other Member States or embassies in Ivory Coast
about alleged violations? And can you just, can we just be clear on
what, I have heard that Licorne attends meetings in UNOCI on a
variety of topics, not necessarily limited to military. Is there
some way to get an indication of what that relationship is?
that’s something that you can ask Mr. Le Roy. But
as a general principle, I am not going to respond to reports about
Inner City Press asked Le Roy about the access
of Licorne, and did not get a clear answer. Afterward, Inner City
Press was told "we are watching." So are we.
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