UN warns of an impending civil war in Ivory Coast
Friday 25 February 2011
Heavy fighting over the disputed election may augur a return to civil war, the United Nations warned yesterday as clashes raged in Abidjan and in western regions of the country.
Residents reported automatic arms fire yesterday morning in the Abobo district of Abidjan, the commercial capital, after three days of heavy fighting between police forces loyal to incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to cede power, and a force calling itself the "invisible commandos", believed to include former rebels.
Hundreds of people fled Abobo on the main road leading from the neighbourhood, some pushing wooden carts, others with their possessions wrapped in sheets.
Fighting also broke out in the west of the country near the border with Liberia and Guinea, the local UN peacekeeping mission reported. "This is a breach of the cease-fire that has been holding for the last six years," said spokesman Hamadoun Toure. "It changes the game. Before it was clashes between police and protesters. Now if its the beginning of fighting between two armed forces, it could have serious consequences for the country."
It is a significant escalation in the country's political crisis that erupted after Mr Gbagbo refused to accept defeat in the presidential election on 28 November, despite UN-certified results that show he lost to opposition leader Alassane Ouattara.
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 4 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...