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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid