Britain expresses grave concern over I. Coast violence

2nd April 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Saturday he was "gravely concerned" over ongoing deadly unrest in Ivory Coast and urged all sides to show restraint.

"I am gravely concerned by the violence in Cote d'Ivoire and deplore reports of loss of life," Hague said in a statement.

"I call on all sides to exercise restraint, and condemn the looting and lawlessness reported in Abidjan.

"I am determined that all alleged human rights abuses in the city and elsewhere in Cote d'Ivoire must be investigated and those responsible held to account."

The UN mission in Ivory Coast meanwhile said Saturday over 330 people were killed in Duekoue in the west, most of them by fighters backing internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara.

Hague added: "Laurent Gbagbo must heed the calls from the international community and step down at once to prevent further bloodshed.

"I will be discussing the crisis with AU Chairperson Jean Ping during his visit to London on Monday."

Britain had said in January that it only recognised statements made by Alassane Ouattara as president of Ivory Coast.

© 2011 AFP

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