Global General

Sarkozy unveils France's new policy for Africa

Updated: 2011-05-23 15:57
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ABIDJAN - French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared on Saturday that France had decided to adopt a new foreign policy for Africa.

Sarkozy who was speaking to French nationals living in Cote d'Ivoire at the French military base in Abidjan said that electoral fraud will no longer be accepted neither by France nor by the international community.

"This is the new African policy that we shall adopt, and it's an international policy," he said.

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Sarkozy who had gone to Cote d'Ivoire to attend the swearing in ceremony of the country's president Alassane Ouattara, affirmed that his country had intervened in the country's crisis after being requested by the international community.

"If we had not obtained the mandate of the international community, we would not have intervened like we did. France came on behalf of the international community," the French president insisted.

At the same time, Sarkozy said that France will keep its forces in Cote d'Ivoire in order to protect its  citizens.

The French Licorne forces who closely worked with the UN peace keeping forces in Cote d'Ivoire, had some 900 soldiers before the crisis but this number was increased to 1,700 at the height of the crisis.

Thousands of French nationals live in Cote d'Ivoire and work in various sectors of the economy.

France and the UN supported Ouattara in the stand-off between him and his rival Laurent Gbagbo after each of them had declared himself the winner of last year's presidential polls.

Their support enabled the Cote d'Ivoire Republican Forces (FRCI, pro-Ouattara) to arrest Gbagbo on April 11.

Sarkozy and UN chief Ban Ki-moon were at Ouattara's swearing in ceremony which was held in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire's political capital.

It was after the Yamoussoukro event that the French president proceeded to Abidjan to speak to his fellow citizens living in Cote d'Ivoire.