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 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...