France sees no long military role in Ivory Coast

PARIS (Reuters) – French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Tuesday French forces had no need to stay in Ivory Coast over the long term.

Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo was captured and placed under the control of his presidential rival Monday after French troops closed in on his besieged compound.

“Licorne has no call to remain in Ivory Coast now that democracy is going to take root and the polls are going to be respected,” Fillon said, referring to the French force that has been the country since 2002 to back up U.N. peacekeepers.

“French forces will leave Ivory Coast once there is enough security, in particular for our nationals in Abidjan,” he told parliament.

Alassane Ouattara, viewed internationally as winning a November presidential election, took control after Gbagbo was captured Monday.

That signaled the end of four months of stand-off that descended into all-out conflict after Gbagbo refused to step down after 10 years in power.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

France sees no long military role in Ivory Coast