- Title: FRANCE: Ivorians in Paris protest against French involvement in Ivory Coast
- Date: 20th December 2010
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (DECEMBER 19, 2010) (REUTERS) HUNDREDS OF IVORIAN PROTESTERS POLICE WATCHING THE DEMONSTRATION PROTESTERS DANCING AND CHANTING "WE WANT LAURENT GBAGBO, WE WANT LAURENT GBAGBO, THE PEOPLE HAVE CHOSEN HIM." WOMAN IN IVORY COAST FLAG CHANTING VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS DANCING AND CHANTING PROTESTERS PROTESTER WITH BANNER OF GBAGBO (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH NATIONAL FROM THE IVORY COAST, VIRGINIE, SAYING "We are here to defend our country, we are tired with the Sarkozy dictatorship. Laurent Gbagbo is the person who was elected, so Gbagbo is our president, Sarkozy has no right to give us orders, our country is our country, so he should let the Ivorians sort out their problems themselves, thanks very much." PROTESTERS WITH BANNERS (SOUNDBITE) (French) UNNAMED FRENCH NATIONAL FROM IVORY COAST, SAYING "Laurent Gbagbo was elected democratically, we want this man, we want him to be our president, he has always governed us well. We don't want Alassane Ouattara and I tell you Alassane can never rule the Ivory Coast." POLICE WATCHING (SOUNDBITE) (French) UNNAMED FRENCH NATIONAL FROM IVORY COAST, SAYING "Sarkozy only has to transform snow into petrol, he won't get the petrol from the Ivory Coast, he won't have the petrol from the Ivory Coast." BANNER READING "FRANCE-A-FRIC" (MEANING 'FRANCE AFTER THE MONEY') DEMONSTRATION IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 4th January 2011 12:00
- Location: France, France
- Country: France
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA9W9SIIOLSGKZAD33WETHQE5H9
- Story Text: Snow and ice did not dampen spirits as several hundred Ivorians took to the streets of Paris on Sunday (December 19) for a lively but peaceful protest against the political turmoil in the Ivory Coast.
French Africans from Mali and Gabon joined the colourful protest at Place de la Republique against U.N. and French involvement in the affairs of the Ivory Coast.
"We are there to defend our country, we are tired with the Sarkozy dictatorship," said one protester.
"Laurent Gbagbo is the person who was elected, so Gbagbo is our president, Sarkozy has no right to give us orders, our country is our country, so he should let the Ivorians sort out there problems themselves, thanks very much," she added..
The U.N, several of neighbouring African countries and France have increasingly focused on ongoing turmoil across the country fearing outbreaks of further disruption.
As prolonged political turmoil in the African nation develops, communities of exiled Ivorians abroad have become anxious and some protesters said they felt the best thing the international community could do was to mind its own business.
"Laurent Gbagbo was elected democratically, we want this man, we want him to be our president, he has always governed us well. We don't want Alassane Ouattara and I tell you Alassane can never rule the Ivory Coast," said one protester.
Incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo on Saturday (December 18) ordered U.N. and French troops to leave the country, but U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon rejected the demand.
Both the United Nations and the former colonial power, France, have urged Gbagbo to concede defeat in the November 28 electoral poll, which was meant to heal the wounds of the West African state's 2002-03 civil war but has instead reopened them.
Ban has said that Gbagbo must step down and hand power to opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, who the United Nations says won the run-off election.
Turmoil has seized the country since Gbagbo claimed victory with the backing of the pro-Gbagbo Constitutional Council, the nation's highest legal body.
The Council rejected votes declaring Ouattara the victor by nearly an 8 percent margin, marking them as fraudulent.
A majority of world leaders recognised Ouattara's victory and demanded that Gbagbo step down. The U.N. mission includes some 10,000 soldiers and police, and is supported by the French LICORNE force.
At least 20 people were killed on Thursday (December 16) in clashes between pro-Ouattara marchers and security forces.
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