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Ivory Coast: Laurent Gbagbo stays in bunker and vows not to surrender

April 8, 2011 Comments off

telegraph

Ivory Coast’s embattled leader Laurent Gbagbo is protected by a rump of just 200 soldiers in his bunker beneath the presidential palace, the French defence minister said, but he is refusing to surrender to advancing forces.

Ivory Coast leader in bunker vows not to surrender  

Soldiers loyal to Alassane Ouattara walk past deserted market stalls in Abidjan Photo: AP

Gerard Longuet said Mr Gbagbo has an estimated 1,000 troops left in Abidjan, as forces loyal to president-in-waiting Alassane Ouattara had the palace surrounded.

“We’re going to wait and let him come out like a rat,” said an adviser to Mr Ouattara

However, Mr Gbagbo refuses to give up his increasingly fragile position and continues to Read more…

Ivory Coast Rebels Advance South, Closing in on Abidjan and Key Cocoa Port

March 30, 2011 1 comment

bloomberg

Troops loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of November’s presidential election in Ivory Coast, moved closer to Abidjan and a key cocoa-exporting port, adding to pressure on embattled incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo.

The Republican Forces seized at least five towns this week and moved to within 240 kilometers (149 miles) of Abidjan, the commercial capital, after taking the eastern town of Abengourou yesterday, said Meite Sindou, spokesman for Ouattara’s prime minister and defense minister, Guillaume Soro.

“It seems the security forces of Laurent Gbagbo refused to fight when the rebels entered the town,” said Modeste Kouao, a resident of Abengourou.

Until now, the loyalty of the army and police has proved key to Gbagbo’s ability to retain control of much of the world’s top cocoa producer. He refuses to hand power to Ouattara, alleging electoral fraud in the election on Nov. 28.

“Militarily, Gbagbo is weak,” said Rinaldo Depagne, a Dakar-based analyst for International Crisis Group. “If he wants to stay, he’s got to put all the forces he has in Abidjan and he’s got to try to stop the progression of rebels inside Abidjan. Inside the army you’ve got mass Read more…

UNHCR shocked at mounting violence in Côte d’Ivoire

March 22, 2011 Comments off

unhcr.org

 

© UNHCR/G.Gordon
Refugees who fled the post-election instability in Côte d’Ivoire wait to be registered at a camp in Liberia.

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, March 18 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency said on Friday it was shocked at the escalating violence in Côte d’Ivoire, which has led to continuing population displacement. Fighting this week in the country’s commercial centre, Abidjan, has been at its fiercest level since the political crisis began after the presidential election in November.

On Thursday, residents of the city’s northern suburb of Abobo came under heavy shelling, leaving at least 25 people reported dead and many more injured. Earlier in the week, several other parts of Abidjan also registered attacks. Read more…