Côte d’Ivoire – Interview

We are ready to resist, says Gbagbo party leader

AFP/Erick-Christian Ahounou

The head of Cote d’Ivoire’s incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo’s party says that if foreign armies attack, they are ready to fight back. Speaking to RFI, Pascal Affi Nguessan, Gbagbo’s campaign manager and the president of the Ivorian Popular Front, has harsh words for west African countries who considering the use of force against Gbagbo.


“We are ready for all eventualities,” Nguessan said “We are ready to resist, like we did during the civil war in 2002.”

“If they come to make war on Côte d’Ivoire, Côte d’Ivoire will respond with war,” he said, referring to the west African economic bloc, Ecowas (the Economic Community of West African States) which has not ruled out military intervention to push Gbagbo to cede power to Alassane Ouattara.

Gbagbo, Nguessan says, wants a peaceful solution, but he will not step down, as Ouattara has no legitimacy.

“What I observe is that he is pushed to beg, shamefully, for a foreign military intervention. If you are elected, you have the backing of the people, and this is not the case for Alassane Ouattara.”

Nguessan implied that west African states that support Ouattara over Gbagbo have been pushed to do so by France.

“The majority of West African states - those who were taken in by the campaign run out of Paris, they are starting to pay attention to reality,” he said.

“We are trying to find peaceful solutions. But given that many have gone far with accusations and threats, we have to give them time to come back, progressively, to more objective attitudes to get out of this post-electoral crisis.”

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