France says I. Coast mission 'to allow Ouattara to govern'
The objective of France's military intervention in Ivory Coast is to allow strongman Laurent Gbabo's rival Alassane Ouattara to govern, Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said on Monday.
"The objective set by the international community was to allow the elected president to govern," Longuet said, after France's Licorne force and UN troops helped lay the groundwork to allow Ouattara's forces capture Gbagbo.
"We raised Licorne's numbers to 1,700 men and women. Following a troop redeployment from Libreville (in Gabon) and Chad, they will return from where they came," he tole reporters.
"I would like the Ivorian situation, by securing our countrymen and women through a state that respects the rule of law, to allow us to quickly lessen this deployment below what it was at the start of the crisis," he said.
There were 930 French troops in Ivory Coast before tension built up in the wake of November's disputed presidential poll.
© 2011 AFP