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Friday, 24 December, 1999, 22:17 GMT
Coup leader pledges democracy

General Robert Guei General Robert Guei: "Democracy will be scrupulously respected"


Ivory Coast coup leader General Robert Guei has made a television address assuring the country that democracy and international agreements would be respected.

General Guei, who is leader of the Ivorian Military Committee of Public Salvation, was speaking in an address broadcast on Abidjan TV on Friday.

He said:

"Dear countrymen, judging from the demonstration of joy we noted in the various districts of the capital, we are happy to realise that you have really understood the profound meaning of the action the mutineers have taken.

"We are aware that some uncontrolled elements can loot. We call on you to assist us to help you. Whenever you see any of those looters you must overpower them or help us overpower them.

"We are maintaining international agreements and they will be scrupulously respected.

"I would like to reassure all friends of the diplomatic corps representing their respective countries that we shall ensure, in particular, their security and they should know that the agreements signed between their countries and ours will be maintained.

"One basic element should be noted: Democracy and the rules of democracy will be scrupulously respected and I will personally ensure that they are respected.

"The security of Ivorians and non-Ivorians will also be guaranteed. That is to say that Ivory Coast will continue to be a country of hospitality.

"In the very short term, I will personally see to the problems of farmers. Very soon we shall send missions to friendly countries to explain the reasons for the action we have just taken.

"Concerning our brothers in arms, be they in the police, gendarmerie, or other uniformed corps, we are happy to note that you have rallied to our cause and we are now speaking the same language.

"Thank you very much. Remain calm, continue to help us to save Ivory Coast and preserve for Ivorians the ideal of their dreams.

Source: Television Ivoirienne, Abidjan

BBC Monitoring http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages

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See also:
24 Dec 99 |  Africa
Analysis: Ivory Coast's stability shattered
24 Dec 99 |  Africa
Ivory Coast president calls for resistance

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