PM floats French troop pullout from Ivory Coast

AP News
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Posted: Apr 12, 2011 9:41 AM
PM floats French troop pullout from Ivory Coast

France's prime minister says French military forces that have been in Ivory Coast since 2002 have no reason to stay "now that democracy is going to be installed" in the West African country.

Francois Fillon says the roughly 1,700 French troops in the code-named operation Licorne "should leave ... as soon as security is sufficient" following the capture of longtime strongman Laurent Gbagbo.

Fillon spoke to the National Assembly on Tuesday after the government said former colonial ruler France would scale back its military force in Ivory Coast and give euro400 million ($580 million) in aid to restore public services.

Gbagbo was pulled from his burning residence Monday by troops of Alassane Ouattara, elected president last year, who had the backing of French forces.