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Cote d'Ivoire's presidential and PM's offices under tightened security

12-15-2010 09:36 BJT

ABIDJAN, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Cote d'Ivoire's presidential palace and the prime minister's office, both situated in the economic capital Abidjan, were on Monday placed under tightened security after reports that Alassane Ouattara's team was planning the takeover towards the weekend.

Early in the morning, the Defense and Security Forces (FDS), the majority of whom are members of the Republican Guard, blocked the roads leading to the prime minister's office adjacent to the presidential palace.

The heavily armed military officers were strictly controlling entry into these offices.

Other military officers were seen standing at strategic points within the Plateau area which has both the presidential palace and the prime minister's offices.

However, the zone remained calm and no demonstrations were reported there throughout the day.

During a press conference over the weekend, Ouattara's prime minister Guillaume Soro threatened to invade these offices starting this week.

In a new statement released on Monday, Soro affirmed that "the entire government" will occupy government offices on Friday after Thursday's installation of a new director general of the Radio Television Ivoirienne (RTI).

On his part, the commander of the Republican Guard, general Bruno Dogbo Ble, warned that his officers will by all means defend the public institutions led by incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo.

Cote d'Ivoire has been plunged into a new political crisis after the Nov. 28 presidential run-off, which was contested by Gbagbo and ex-prime minister Ouattara.

Both candidates claim to have won the election, but the international community including the United Nations has recognized Ouattara as president-elect.

The tensions are high with the two camps facing each other in the southern city Abidjan, which has been under Gbagbo's control since the 2002-2003 civil war. The ex-rebel New Forces led by Soro has the control in the northern part of the West African country.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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