Wounds reopened – the price of breakdown
IRIN News Agency reports from Abidjan:
Gunshots at night, beatings, unexplained disappearances of ordinary civilians and makeshift barriers around homes andhave become commonplace in Côte d’Ivoire’s main city, Abidjan, in the chaotic aftermath of the presidential election. As violence threatens to spiral, Ivoirians say ethnic and regional divisions are sharper than ever. Click below for further information: Http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=91426
FIDES, the News Agency of the Congregation for the Evangleization of Peoples (Vatican City), reported on 18 December:
Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) – “Abidjan is completely paralysed: the movement of public and private transport is blocked; shops, schools and offices are closed, while there is a heavy presence of presidential security forces patrolling the streets,” a source from the local Church in Abidjan tells Fides. In Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire, yesterday, 16 December, there were violent clashes between police and supporters of Alassane Ouattara, the President recognized by the international community (see Fides 16/12/2010). The demonstrators tried to reach the National Radio and Television headquarters (RTI) to establish a new leadership, in favour of Ouattara. RTI is considered close to the positions of Laurent Gbagbo, the outgoing president who claims to have won the second round of presidential elections on 28 November, based on a ruling of the Constitutional Council which invalidated the victory of Ouattara, proclaimed by the Independent Electoral Commission.
“The clashes which occurred in Abidjan and other areas of the country resulted in at least 30 deaths and the wounding of 60-100 people,” says our source. “At the moment the situation is calm, even if the supporters of Ouattara have announced a new march for today to RFI headquarters.”
The Golf Hotel, Ouattara’s headquarters in Abidjan, is guarded by the “blue helmets” of the UN peacekeeping force in Côte d’Ivoire and by the men of the “New Forces”, the former rebels who control the north of the Country. In the meantime, Jean Ping, President of the African Union, arrived in Abidjan to mediate between the two sides. Several countries, including African countries, have recognized the victory of Ouattara and have asked Gbagbo to allow his successor to establish himself in office. The violence of recent days has caused the flight of thousands of people to neighbouring countries: Liberia (where there would be some 3,500 Ivorian refugees) and the Republic of Guinea (around 200).