France goes to war to remove Gbagbo

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Armand2REP, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Sarkozy gives go-ahead for French troops in Ivory Coast

    Apr 4, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    Paris - French troops on Monday received approval from President Nicolas Sarkozy to engage forces loyal to incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo as fighting seemed set to escalate in the African nation.

    The Elysee confirmed that the order had been given to the 1,650- strong French force in its former colony.

    Until now, French forces have largely been defending French nationals taking shelter as fighting intensifies between Gbagbo's forces and those loyal to Alassane Outtara, the man widely believed to have won last year's presidential elections.

    Sarkozy sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ensuring that French forces were prepared to take out heavy artillery Gbagbo's forces have, at times, targeted on the Ivorian population.

    French media reported that French helicopters had already attacked a Gbagbo base on Monday.

    http://www.monstersandcritics.com/n...ves-go-ahead-for-French-troops-in-Ivory-Coast
     
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  3. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    French forces attack Gbagbo bases in Ivory Coast
    by Thomas Morfin |

    [​IMG]
    Fire and smoke billows from the Akouedo military camp in Abidjan Fire and smoke billows from the Akouedo military camp in Abidjan


    French and UN helicopters opened fire on the Ivory Coast presidential palace and bases of strongman Laurent Gbagbo Monday amid an all-out offensive to make him quit the presidency.

    The helicopters targeted the presidency, Gbagbo's residence and military barracks in the main city Abidjan hours after fighters for internationally recognised leader Alassane Ouattara launched a new offensive to unseat him.

    The attacks came as the French government announced in Paris that its troops and UN soldiers had been given the go-ahead to start operations to "neutralise" heavy weapons being used on civilians by Gbagbo's fighters.

    Helicopters from the UN mission, called UNOCI, worked in coordination with those from the French forces, said the UN spokesman in the country, Hamadoun Toure.

    "UNOCI helicopters fired on the Agban and Akuedo military camps as well as the palace and presidential residence," he said.

    "We are working with the French force Licorne, in line with our mandate and the UN resolution 1975," he added.

    The resolution was adopted by the UN Security Council last month, when new sanctions were also agreed as part of a raft of measures to try to make Gbagbo hand over power after losing November elections.

    An AFP journalist saw four Licorne helicopters firing on the Agban military camp while other witnesses reported UN helicopters shooting on the Akouedo barracks.

    In Paris, the French presidency announced that UN and French troops "have engaged in actions aimed at neutralising heavy arms used against civilians and UN personnel in Abidjan."

    "The Secretary General of the United Nations (Ban Ki-moon) requested the support of French forces in these operations," it said in a statement.

    President Nicolas Sarkozy "responded positively to this request, and authorised French forces... to participate in operations conducted by UNOCI aimed at protecting civilians," it said.

    "France calls for the immediate cessation of all violence against civilians. The perpetrators of these crimes must be brought to justice," it said.

    Ouattara's offensive began in the early afternoon when heavy weapons fire and explosions could be heard from the central Plateau area, site of the presidential palace.

    "The offensive has been launched," said Sidiki Konate, spokesman for Ouattara's prime minister Guillaume Soro.

    "At 13H00, movements started towards four large corridors. We are securing our passage. The objective is to converge on Plateau and Cocody (north)," he said.

    Cocody is home to Gbagbo, who refuses to acknowledge that he lost November 28 elections and is fighting to the last to keep hold of the presidency.

    Gbagbo has rallied supporters to form a "human shield" around his residence.

    One of his advisors in Paris, Toussaint Alain, said the strikes by UN and French troops were "illegal" and amounted to an "assassination attempt".

    With tensions mounting ahead of a feared final showdown between the rival forces, residents of the country's main city of five million were in lockdown in their homes while armed men patrolled the streets.

    About 250 foreign nationals were flown out on Monday after 167 left on Sunday, according to the French military which had taken over control of the airport in Abidjan.

    "Four planes left for Dakar and Lome (Monday). There were about 250 foreign citizens, including French," said spokesman for the French forces Licorne (Unicorn), Frederic Daguillon.

    After bolstering forces with 300 men over the weekend, France announced another 150 would be deployed, charged mainly with protecting foreigners, taking the number to 1,650.

    Weary of failed diplomatic efforts to resolve the post-election crisis, Ouattara's army launched their lightning offensive a week ago, seizing much of the country and entering Abidjan late last week.

    Weakened by the desertion of key allies and isolated by the international community when the battle for Abidjan began, Gbagbo since clawed his way back, managing to repulse attacks on his strongholds.

    Reports have meanwhile emerged of human rights abuses over the week including the massacre of hundreds of civilians in the western town of Duekoue.

    The International Red Cross has said 800 died in Duekoue in one day in an incident "particularly shocking by its size and brutality".

    The Catholic mission Caritas reported 1,000 were "killed or disappeared" while the UN mission gave an initial death toll of 330, saying that while both camps were involved in the mass killings, the majority of deaths were caused by pro-Ouattara fighters.

    AFP
     
  4. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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  5. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Do the French use the Mil-24/35?

    Here is a picture that claims so.
    [​IMG]

    Source: http://www.newswarped.com/2011/04/un-forces-join-ivory-coast-fighting-in-abijan/

    Yet another source says that it is 'UN' helicopter:
    [​IMG]

    Source: http://article.wn.com/view/2011/04/04/Laurent_Gbagbos_forces_fired_on_by_UN_attack_helicopters/

    Could it be that the Indian Army is also stationed there and carried out these attacks?

    Countries that could have possibly deployed their Mil-24/35s under the UN banner.
     
  6. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    The French forces are authorized to support UNOCI

    The UN said Monday night with its helicopters had fired on the presidential palace and residence Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan. Meanwhile, four helicopters of the French Licorne force fired at the Agban military camp, a stronghold of the Ivorian army loyal to the outgoing president, as a journalist from theAgence France-Presse. The spokesman of the French General Staff said that French soldiers were targeting "barracks, heavy weapons and armored vehicles." Witnesses then reported that other UN aircraft fired at least four missiles at the camp Akouédo (North East) which houses three army battalions pro-Gbagbo.

    http://www.lefigaro.fr/internationa...-de-regrouper-tous-les-francais-d-abidjan.php
     
  7. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    has Sarkozy absolutely lost his brains.....they are now engaged in 3 wars together.....

    Armand does such wars increase his ratings in France...??
     
  8. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    It is too soon after the local elections to know if it helped him yet. Polls say 66% support the intervention in Libya so if it goes well then he will certainly get a boost. Gaullisme is still big with the French public so anything that shows France to be the major power it is, all the more good for Sarko. If he fails... he is finished. He is probably finished either way actually.
     
  9. Nonynon

    Nonynon Regular Member

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    Its good to hear Europe is finally starting to intervene in black Africa. Usually that part of the world is left alone to slaughter itself. Hopefully an intervention in Darfor, Congo and all the other places will come soon.
    Btw, does the Ivory coast have any mentionable natural resources?
     
  10. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Ivory Coast: Ouattara forces storm Gbagbo residence

    "We are going to get Laurent Gbagbo out of his hole and hand him over to the president of the Republic," said Sidiki Konate, spokesman of Mr Ouattara's prime minister, Guillaume Soro.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12985638
     
  11. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Cote d'Ivoir exports half the world's cocoa crop, has two oil and gas fields, and also exports high quality palm oil and coffee.
     
  12. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    French chopper hits Gbagbo forces

    April 7 2011 at 11:14am
    Reuters

    Abidjan - French forces destroyed military vehicles belonging to troops loyal to Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo during a helicopter-borne mission that rescued Japan's ambassador to the West African country on Thursday.

    The French, who have already joined helicopter raids to destroy Gbagbo's heavy weapons, went in after Gbagbo soldiers broke into the residence, where ambassador Yoshifumi Okamura, along with seven of his staff, had taken shelter inside a safe room, French armed forces spokesman Thierry Burkhard said.

    The rescue came as forces loyal to presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara laid siege to Gbagbo's own residence nearby after an attempt to pluck him from his bunker on Wednesday met with fierce resistance.

    Fighting continued in Abidjan as Ouattara's forces tried to unseat Gbagbo, who has refused to cede power after losing a November election to Ouattara, according to UN-certified results.

    Sporadic explosions broke the silence of one of the quieter nights since Ouattara's soldiers arrived in the economic capital a week ago, a Reuters witness said.

    Burkhard said pro-Gbagbo loyalists had set up rocket launchers on the roof of the Japanese embassy.

    “The Japanese authorities asked the United Nations to act and UNOCI (The UN mission in Ivory Coast) asked Licorne (French troops) as it has the means to evacuate,” he said.

    The French forces, who were shot at, used a helicopter to airlift the Japanese officials to safety.

    “The French forces fired back in self defence, destroying at least one armoured vehicle and two pick-up trucks.”

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/french-chopper-hits-gbagbo-forces-1.1053492
     
  13. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Methinks this has much to do with the French President's record low levels in the polls.

    I hate to say this, but this might be seen in a very perverse way as militating action against illegal immigrants.
     
  14. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    It is not only you, I too think the same way. I am pretty sure that the fact that France has been acting hyper aggressive all of a sudden stands out like a sore thumb to many when compared with France in the last decade.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  15. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    That is the consequence, the reason for it is the public approves intervention 66%. France still has large interests in Cote d'Ivior as it was the crown jewel of West African colonies and kept invested in it even after independence. French troops have been there for the last 10 years since the civil war began. Gbagbo lost his mandate in 2005 when he started delaying elections. In 2006, he bombed French peacekeeping base which enraged the public and Chirac. He ordered the destruction of the CdI air forces in retaliation and has been a thorn in our side ever since. Last year he was rightfully elected out of office and refuses to step down, France and the rest of the UN are fed up so we force him to go. All this is done under UN mandate just as it is in Libya.

    Makes no sense... explain.
     
  16. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    French helicopter gunships bombard Gbagbo

    [​IMG]
    A pro-Gbagbo naval base in Abidjan was on fire after the air strikes

    Helicopter gunships have begun a new operation to destroy heavy weapons near Laurent Gbagbo's residence in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan.

    Eight helicopters


    At least six French helicopters and two UN helicopters roared into the sky from their station at the French military base in the south of the city within minutes of the UN decision to attack, the BBC's Mark Doyle reports from Abidjan.

    Eyewitnesses then saw the helicopters attacking targets around the residence of Mr Gbagbo.

    Our correspondent, reporting about 5km (three miles) from the presidential residence, could himself hear loud explosions coming from the area.

    Smoke was seen rising from the area.

    Our correspondent received one report that the residence had been partly destroyed and was on fire but he said he could not confirm this.

    UN spokesman Hamadoun Toure told the BBC: "We sent a mission to try and locate all heavy weapons.

    "We found found heavy weapons within the presidential palace area, also in the centre of the presidential residence, and in most of the camps in Abidjan. The operation is just to neutralise those heavy weapons."

    In his statement, Mr Ban said attacks by Mr Gbagbo's forces on civilians and UN peacekeepers had to stop, and he had instructed UN forces to use "all necessary means" to prevent the use of heavy weapons.

    He also called on Mr Gbagbo to resign immediately.

    'Pretexts'

    Responding to Sunday's attacks, Gbagbo spokesman Ahoua Don Mello said France, the former colonial power, was set on killing the incumbent president.

    "There is no other goal [but] to assassinate the head of state, all the rest is just pretext," he told AFP news agency.

    "France was looking for pretexts to attack again, and has found them."

    On Tuesday, Mr Gbagbo was said to be "hours away" from surrender, but then he took refuge in a bunker under the residence.

    The UN said on Friday his forces had used a lull in the fighting as a "trick" to regain ground in Abidjan and strengthen their position.

    Last week, Mr Ouattara's forces swept down largely unopposed from their strongholds in the north. However, fighting began when they reached Abidjan, a city of four million people and the country's commercial capital.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13030543
     
  17. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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  18. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Gbagbo captured by French special forces

    French special forces have captured Ivory Coast dictator Laurent Gbagbo and handed him over to rebel forces following a fierce battle today, a spokeswoman for presidential rival Alassane Ouattara has claimed.

    [​IMG]
    Laurent Gbagbo, surrounded by soldiers loyal to Alassane Ouattara, appearing on TV footage on Ivorian television

    By Peter Allen 3:01PM BST 11 Apr 2011

    It is likely to hasten an end to the bloody fighting in the African country which has claimed hundreds of lives over the past few weeks. Sources close to Gbagbo said he was held following an all-out assault on his official home in Abidjan.

    He is currently being held at the Golf Hotel in the city, along with his wife and other members of his family, as well as advisors.

    The arrest was made to ‘avoid a bloodbath’ in Ivory Coast, as Gbagbo defiantly held on to power more than four months after losing a presidential election, said a French Foreign Ministry source.

    President Nicolas Sarkozy had accused Gbagbo of continuing to use heavy weapons against civilians in a bid to hang on to power. But today the French were doing everything possible to stop him being murdered by his opponents.

    ‘The aim is to put him on trial for his crimes against the people of the Ivory Coast,’ said the diplomatic source in Paris. ‘There are many in his country who want to kill him, but he will be protected by the United Nations.’

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...ed-by-French-special-forces-rival-claims.html
     
  19. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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