PARIS (Reuters) - The prime minister of Ivory Coast presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara urged the international community to consider using force to oust incumbent Laurent Gbagbo saying it was the “only solution.”
Gbagbo has refused to quit following a November 28 election that African countries and western powers say he lost to Ouattara, in a dispute that the United Nations says has already killed 50 people and threatens to restart a civil war.
Speaking on French television network I-Tele, Guillaume Soro said Gbagbo had raised the military stakes leaving few options.
“Mr Gbgabo has got the tanks out ... 200 people have fallen under the bullets of Liberian and Angolan mercenaries ... the security situation is very worrying,” Soro said. “It is obvious the only solution to the crisis is the use of force.”
Gbagbo has shown no sign of caving in to the pressure and late Tuesday invited an international committee to re-examine the results of the vote, a move that a Ouattara spokesman dismissed as a delaying tactic.
“I ask the U.N. Security Council, European Union and ECOWAS to consider the use of force,” Soro said.
France, Germany and Britain advised against travel to the country Wednesday and urged their citizens there to leave, a day after Nigeria said it evacuated diplomatic staff from the country following an attack on its embassy.
Reporting by John Irish and Leigh Thomas