Friday, April 1, 2011

Fierce battle in Ivory Coast for control of the key city of Abidjan

Increases tension in Ivory Coast where the government of President-elect of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, on Thursday gave an ultimatum to the outgoing president, Laurent Gbagbo, to which he and his followers "are delivered within hours, with In order to avoid "a bloodbath" in Abidjan. Fighters loyal to Alassane Ouattara attacked the residence of the leader Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan on Friday, as confirmed by military sources, who say their bodyguards continue to offer resistance.

The president has fled cornered his residence in the city of Abidjan is unknown at this time their whereabouts, said today the French public radio France's ambassador in the DR Congo, Jean-Marc Simon. During the night there have been intense fighting around the residence of outgoing President Gbagbo, as witnesses told France Presse.

The fighting has started less than a mile from the house of Gbagbo. "It seems that this is the final assault," said one resident. Neighbors in the nearby area have reported scenes of terror that exists in the streets about. "We have seen through the windows how a group of about 300 soldiers moved on foot and on some cars to the house, hitting shots." A member of the UN mission in the African country (UNOCI), Alain Leroy, told France 24 that most of the security forces seems to have abandoned Gbagbo.

The head of UNOCI, Choi Young Jin, adding that Gbagbo can now only supported in the Republican Guard and its special units. As he said, have dropped about 50,000 police and gendarmes. According to a government spokesman Ouattara forces have taken control of state television in the Ivory Coast, which has ceased its broadcasts.

He added that Gbagbo has shown no signs of giving up despite the rebel advance and fighting between supporters of both leaders. Ouattara elected president has ordered the closure of the borders until further notice. Previously it had imposed a curfew at night and according to two sources consulted by Reuters Gbagbo has ceded control of the airport in Abidjan to peacekeepers of the UN.

500 foreigners have been taken by French soldiers at a military camp after being threatened by groups engaged in pillage amid the insecurity prevailing in the city. Ouattara launched hours before the ultimatum: "Ivory Coast is one and indivisible. Gbagbo have a few hours to go, if there will be a march on Abidjan and will be harder for him," said Prime Minister of the Government of Ouattara, Guillaume Soro, In an interview with the channel France 24.

Said "progression (military) should continue" and said "the only purpose is to return the verdict of the polls and establishing democracy" in the country. But declined to confirm that the armored troops of Ouattara supporters head to Abidjan for "not disclosing the military strategy of the republican forces" did not hide the control of the economic capital "was the ultimate goal of the offensive." Soro said the president's regime by the international community recognized as the winner of the elections last November has been approached "by several generals, whose identity has not been provided" for security reasons.

" "We found no resistance, but accessions," said Soro, who explained that "the only difficulty has registered party militants and mercenaries in Duékoué" west of the country. On Friday, two days after the Security Council of the UN adopted a resolution calling on Gbagbo to leave power to Ouattara, the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, will bring his prime minister, François Fillon, and those responsible Foreign and Defense, Alain Juppe and Gérard Longuet, respectively to discuss the situation in that country.

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