UN urges Ivory Coast's Gbagbo to immediately resign
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called on Ivory Coast's leader Laurent Gbagbo to immediately cede power to president-elect Alassane Ouattara, whose forces were closing in on the capital Abidjan, dpa reported.
Ban said Ivorian parties will be accountable for harm done to the civilian population as fighting has increased between Gbgabo's militias and those of his opponent Ouattara, who international observers say was the winner of November presidential elections. Gbagbo has so far refused to step down, plunging the African nation into a political crisis.
"The secretary general urges all to exercise maximum restraint, refrain from exacting revenge and place the interests of the whole nation above all else," Ban said.
He said Gbagbo should cede power and prepare the transition of state institutions to the legitimate authorities.
He said those responsible for "inciting, orchestrating or committing human rights violations will be held accountable under international law."