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Pro-Ouattara forces advance on Abidjan

Rebels attack Gbagbo’s palace as UN evacuates foreign workers


 

Forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the UN-recognized president of Ivory Coast, have launched an assault on the fortified residence of Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to give up power since losing presidential elections in November. Pro-Gbagbo forces are fighting back against the rebel assault, but with Ouattara supporters controlling about 80 per cent of the country, many observers are saying Gbagbo’s government is in its final hours. There have been reports that pro-Ouattara forces have been committing human rights violations, such abductions and attacks on civilians, as they continued their advance on Abidjan, and the UN has encouraged Ouattara to rein in his supporters. A Swedish UN worker was killed by gunfire in her home on Thursday. Five hundred foreign workers were evacuated to a military camp by French troops, and UN peacekeepers have taken control of Abidjan’s international airport.

BBC News


 
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Pro-Ouattara forces advance on Abidjan

  1. What we have in Côte d'Ivoire is a confrontation between the Muslims of the North (under Alessande Ouattara) and the Christians of the South, under Laurent Gbagbo. The Northerners and Southerners of Côte d'Ivoire are not only of different religions, but of different tribes as well. Therefore, we shouldn't be surprised that there have been reports of human rights abuses by both sides.

    Côte d'Ivoire is one of the wealthier countries of West Africa, but the tribes in the coastal regions of the South, where the cocoa plantations are, have generally prospered while the northern tribes have suffered the dislocations from sporadic drought since the 1970s. The economic disparities between the two regions are further exacerbated by tribalism and differences in religion.

    Of course, Laurent Gbagbo should step down, because his opponent, Alessande Ouattara, was declared the winner in internationally supervised elections last November. Militarily, Gbagbo's forces control only about 20 per cent of the country. What's more, Gbagbo has no international support; both the African Union and France have sent troops to force his ouster.

    However, the soldiers in Outtara have shown their true colours by looting and pillaging towns on the way to the capital, and by murdering and raping civilians. We shouldn't expect Côte d'Ivoire to become a functioning democracy any time soon.

  2. What we have in Côte d'Ivoire is a confrontation between the Muslims of the North (under Alessande Ouattara) and the Christians of the South, under Laurent Gbagbo. The Northerners and Southerners of Côte d'Ivoire are not only of different religions, but of different tribes as well. Therefore, we shouldn't be surprised that there have been reports of human rights abuses by both sides.

    Côte d'Ivoire is one of the wealthier countries of West Africa, but the tribes in the coastal regions of the South, where the cocoa plantations are, have generally prospered while the northern tribes have suffered the dislocations from sporadic drought since the 1970s. The economic disparities between the two regions are further exacerbated by tribalism and differences in religion.

    Of course, Laurent Gbagbo should step down, because his opponent, Alessande Ouattara, was declared the winner in internationally supervised elections last November. Militarily, Gbagbo's forces control only about 20 per cent of the country. What's more, Gbagbo has no international support; both the African Union and France have sent troops to force his ouster.

    However, the soldiers in Outtara have shown their true colours by looting and pillaging towns on the way to the capital, and by murdering and raping civilians. We shouldn't expect Côte d'Ivoire to become a functioning democracy any time soon.

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