Zambia calls on Iory Coast’s Gbagbo to step down

 Zambia on Saturday urged Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo to accept election defeat and cede power to the internationally recognised winner of the west African country’s November presidential run-off.

“Zambia calls upon president Laurent Gbagbo to respect the people’s choice and accept defeat as a true statesman and step down graciously… to allow the president-elect Alassane Dramane Ouattara to assume his duties as head of state in peace, unity and harmony,” said Foreign Minister Kabinga Pande.

Gbagbo and Ivorians should support efforts by the the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to bring peace to Ivory Coast, he said in a statement.

“Zambia urges different Ivorian stakeholders to exercise restraint, resist use of violence and preserve and consolidate the fragile unity of Ivory Coast at all cost.”

AFP

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