News / Africa

    Abidjan Residents 'Running Scared' following UN, French Attacks

    Smoke rises from the city center of Abidjan, April 2, 2011
    Smoke rises from the city center of Abidjan, April 2, 2011

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Clottey interview with Issaka Bambou, an Abidjan resident

    Peter Clottey

    An Abidjan resident says Ivorians in the country’s commercial capital are, in his words, running scared, after the United Nations and the French army attacked positions of forces loyal to incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo Monday.

    Issaka Bambou says all commercial activity has ground to a “screeching halt” following the attacks.

    “I was just passing and I heard the aircraft of the U.N. and the aircraft of France. They just shot at the military camp and they have destroyed the whole place. So, you can see the smoke going up from the camp and everybody here is very disappointed and they are just going around and running away,” said Bambou.

    “This is the camp which is not far away from here. [It] is called the Akouedo camp... the camp is about five kilometers from Abidjan. The sounds you are hearing are coming from the U.N. and the French aircraft shooting at the camp. All the civilians are running away and very, very afraid,” Bambou said.

    Eyewitnesses say, as the attacks continued, forces loyal to internationally-recognized President Alassane Ouattara pushed toward the few remaining positions still being held by Gbagbo loyalists.

    Bambou says many Ivorians are disappointed by the U.N. and French attacks.

    “Well, President Gbagbo is just about two or three miles from here. So, he is not so far from where they [French and U.N.] are attacking. We are just hiding and some civilians are running everywhere,” said Bambou.

    “Nobody is safe here. We are all hiding in our rooms and under the bed. We are very, very afraid now. All the doors are shaking and are crumbling. We also saw some people who ventured outside killed on the road,” he added.

    The U.N. mission says helicopters fired on two Gbagbo army camps, the presidential palace and Gbagbo's residence, all in the main city of Abidjan. France says its forces took part in the attack at the U.N.'s request.

    In a statement, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the attacks were meant to prevent the use of mortars and other heavy weapons against civilians and U.N. peacekeepers. The United Nations has accused Gbagbo troops of killing Abidjan residents and wounding several peacekeepers.

    The French news agency (AFP) quotes a Gbagbo advisor, Alain Toussaint, in Paris as saying the attacks were “illegal” and amounted to an assassination attempt against the incumbent leader.

    There was no immediate word on Gbagbo's whereabouts or whether he was injured.

    Meanwhile, Ouattara forces entered Abidjan in force Monday. Ouattara's prime minister, Guillaume Soro, has promised a “lightning offensive” against Gbagbo troops.

    Pro-Ouattara forces have swept across Ivory Coast in the past week, but Gbagbo still has a band of loyalists which has surrounded the presidential palace.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora