Britain urges 'respect' for Gbagbo in Ivory Coast

11th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday that Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo should be treated with "respect" after he was captured following a long stand-off with his successor.

Hague said Britain had long recognised Alassane Outtara, Gbagbo's rival, as "the rightful president".

"Mr Gbagbo has acted against any democratic principles in the way he has behaved in recent months. And of course there have been many, many breaches of any rule of law as well," Hague told reporters in London.

"At the same time, we would say that he must be treated with respect and any judicial process that follows should be a fair and properly organised judicial process in Cote D'Ivoire.

"Above all I think we all hope that this is now an opportunity for the people of that country who have been through so much in recent months to find a democratic way forward, a more peaceful way forward, for reconciliation to take place."

Ouattara's forces, backed by French and UN troops, captured his besieged rival in Abidjan on Monday at the climax of a deadly crisis lasting months.

Gbagbo, who had held power since 2000 and stubbornly refused to admit defeat in November's presidential election, was detained and taken to his rival's temporary headquarters, with his wife Simone and son Michel.

© 2011 AFP

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