Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara
Cote d’Ivoire authorities say they have foiled a coup plot led by military exiles loyal to the country's former president, airing a video that allegedly was going to be broadcast on national television after the takeover, reports The Associated Press.
The announcement comes just over a year after President Alassane Ouattara took office following a months-long political crisis that left an estimated 3,000 people dead. The former president who refused to concede defeat, Laurent Gbagbo, is now facing war crimes charges at the Hague.
In the video aired late Tuesday on national television, a man in military uniform accuses Ivorian authorities of being responsible for massacres and putting "victor's justice" into place. In a statement, the colonel also criticizes Gbagbo's extradition.
Authorities identified the man in the video as Kate Gnatoa, and said that he had been arrested along with several others.
Ivorian Interior Minister, Hamed Bakayoko said all borders would be closed and a curfew put in place, and that political activities would be suspended.
"We have precise indication that a group of officers in exile in Accra (Ghana) planned a military operation in Ivory Coast ... with the objective of destabilization," he said.
Last week, authorities in the West African nation of Togo said they had arrested Gbagbo's former defense minister, Moise Lida Kouassi, who was living there in exile. Togolese police have accused Kouassi of being "involved in subversive activities meant to destabilize the present Ivorian government of President Alassane Ouattara."
Kouassi's lawyer, Joseph Kokou Koffigoh, though, said his client is not a danger to Ivory Coast and criticized his extradition.
Cote d’Ivoire was brought to the brink of civil war when Gbagbo refused to cede power after the November 2010 election. Gbagbo was arrested with the help of U.N. and French forces in April 2011.