Gbagbo bans flights by UN, French forces: loyalists

9th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo has banned overflights and landings by UN and French forces in the country, his government announced on RTI state television.

The decision came hours before Gbagbo rival Alassane Ouattara, Ivory Coast's internationally recognised president, was expected to attend an African Union meeting in Ethiopia on the festering post-election crisis in the west African country.

"Aircraft of the United Nations mission in Ivory Coast and those of the (French forces) are banned from overflights and landing throughout the territory of the Republic of Ivory Coast," a statement read on television said.

"Any other exceptional overflight or landing must be previously authorised by the transport ministry," it added.

© 2011 AFP

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