Gueï Flees Côte d'Ivoire

David Altman altman_d at
Wed Oct 25 19:34:46 MDT 2000

Guei Flees, Gbagbo Steps In
October 25, 2000   By Ofeibea Quist-Arcton
Abidjan   The military leader of Cote d'Ivoire General Robert Guei has fled
the country less than 24 hours after he proclaimed himself
president and dismissed the National Electoral Commission
(CNE) on Tuesday.   Later reports said Guei and his family had been flown to
Cotonou in Benin.   Laurent Gbagbo, the veteran socialist politician and leader
of of
the Ivorian Popular Front or FPI, has made an announcement on
national radio reinstating the CNE and saying it will shortly
announce the legitimate results of Sunday's poll . Gbagbo thanked the Ivorian
people for spontaneously and
overwhelmingly responding to his appeal for them to come out
and protest against General Guei's hijack of the election.   He paid homage to
those who had been killed in clashes with
soldiers since Tuesday, calling them national heroes who would
receive fitting funerals. He also paid homage to the injured and
thanked army units and the gendarmerie for taking his and the
peoples side.   He assured the international community that Cote d'Ivoire would
return to democratic rule.   Thousands of youths took to the streets of Abidjan
Wednesday to protest against Guei, whose loyal soldiers fired
shots and tear gas into the air to disperse the demonstrators. By late morning
the commander of the Presidential bodyguard,
Lieutenant Boka Yapi had ordered his troops off the streets,
telling them to return to their barracks.

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