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Ivory Coast's Gbagbo issues call to arms

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Ivory Coast's Gbagbo issues call to arms


Thousands of young people have lined up to answer a call to arms by former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo.

Gbagbo contests the result of November 28 presidential elections that declared his rival Alassane Ouattara as the winner. Ouattara is recognised by the international community as the rightful president of Ivory Coast and is backed by rebel forces.

But Gbagbo retains a tight grip on the military and has refused to go quietly, rejecting pleas for him to step down. There are fears that there could be a return to the violence that dragged the country into civil war nine years ago.

According to the United Nations, at least 435 people have been killed and as many as 450,000 have fled their homes since the political crisis began.

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