UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Military

SLUG: 2-294265 France / Ivory Coast (L-O)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=09/19/02

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=FRANCE / IVORY COAST (L-O)

NUMBER=2-294265

BYLINE=NICK SIMEONE

DATELINE=WASHINGTON

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: France says the government in (the West African nation of) Ivory Coast has survived a coup attempt and that President Laurent Gbagbo remains the head of state, even though he is out of the country. Correspondent Nick Simeone tells us Ivory Coast's former colonial power (France) is following events in the country closely.

TEXT: Nearly 24 hours after the attempted coup began, the situation in Ivory Coast remains fluid. From Paris, French foreign ministry spokesman Francois Rivasseau says parts of the country appear to be in the hands of rebellious soldiers although it appears a key minister loyal to President Gbagbo is holding power while the president remains in Italy.

/// RIVASSEAU ACT ///

In the main town of Abidjan, it seems to be the minister of defense. We don't have a complete view of the situation but in Abidjan at least the government is in control.

/// END ACT ///

The uprising by as many as 800 soldiers apparently began before dawn Thursday after members of the army learned they would be cashiered (lose their jobs). Military sources say those involved were followers of General Robert Guei, who took power in a coup three years ago but later lost power in elections.

/// SECOND RIVASSEAU OPT ACT //

As far as we know, it was a movement initiated by a number of soldiers who were supposed to leave the army in the next few months as a consequence of reconciliation agreements.

/// END ACT ///

With parts of the country still apparently in rebel hands, it's unclear when President Gbagbo will return.

/// THIRD RIVASSEAU ACT ///

The minister of the interior has been killed, as well as former head of state, General (Robert) Guei. The situation also is difficult in the north of the country around the city of Bouke where it seems that rebels have taken control of part of the area.

/// END ACT ///

Beyond that, accurate figures on casualties have been hard to come by. Some reports say at least six police were killed in the early hours of the coup attempt. France as well as the United States are both advising their citizens in Ivory Coast to stay at home even though there have been no reports of foreigners being targeted. France has several hundred troops stationed in Ivory Coast under terms of a bilateral agreement but the French government says they have not been called on to intervene. (SIGNED)

NEB/NJS/RH



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list