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

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid