Ivory Coast Ouattara forces 'encircle' Abidjan: Soro

31st March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Rebel forces are "encircling" Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan to drive Laurent Gbagbo from power and several of his generals have defected, an opposition movement leader told French television Thursday.

"Our troops are currently encircling the city of Abidjan," said Guillaume Soro, named as prime minister in the rival government set up by Gbagbo's opponent, Alassane Ouattara.

"We will hold this position until the defections take place and the transition of power to Alassane Dramane Ouattara is effected," Soro added, speaking on France 24 television.

Ouattara has been recognised by much of the international community as Ivory Coast's rightful leader but Gbagbo has refused to quit power, dragging the country into violence that has raised fears of civil war.

"There are already several generals who have joined our side. I have been in touch with several generals who have agreed to do so," Soro said. "In the coming hours and minutes they will make public declarations."

© 2011 AFP

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