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

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid