I. Coast intervention would see high casualties: France

18th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

France warned Tuesday that military action to force Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo to give up the presidency should only be used as a last resort because of the risk of heavy casualties.

"The use of force should only be considered as a very last resort because given the balance of the armed forces there would be the risk of a high number of casualties," Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie told French lawmakers.

West African military chiefs met Tuesday to finalise a plan for military action to force Gbagbo to give up the presidency after he lost a November election.

Gbagbo has refused to hand over to his rival Alassane Ouattara, widely recognised as the winner of the November 28 election, despite mounting pressure and threats of military action.

© 2011 AFP

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