News / Africa

Fighting in Ivory Coast's Commercial Capital Turns Violent Again

Roadblocks set up by rival Gbagbo and Ouattara supporters appear across city, curbing once-vibrant night life

A man receiving treatment at a health clinic after being shot in the hip by security forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo in the Anyama suburb of Abidjan, March 12, 2011
A man receiving treatment at a health clinic after being shot in the hip by security forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo in the Anyama suburb of Abidjan, March 12, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Peter Clottey

Residents in Ivory Coast's commercial capital, Abidjan, say fighting between supporters of the country's two rival presidents has left at least four dead. Witnesses say a group of armed men opened fire on security forces at a road block Tuesday in a middle-class neighborhood of the city.

It is not clear if the dead were supporters of incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo or rival president Alassane Ouattara. Residents say Gbagbo supporters have set up roadblocks all over town.

Fighting in Ivory Coast's Commercial Capital Turns Violent Again
Fighting in Ivory Coast's Commercial Capital Turns Violent Again

Gbagbo has refused to cede power to Ouattara, who is recognized by the United Nations and the African Union as the winner of November’s presidential election.

On Monday, the fighting in Abidjan spread to a pro-Gbagbo neighborhood called Yopougon for the first time since the political crisis began.

The fighting in Abidjan had previously taken place primarily in Ouattara strongholds.

Peter Clottey's report from the northeastern neighborhood of Cocody

Just this evening, the taxi I was in was stopped and searched, my luggage was searched. I had to show my ID to the military, who asked me what I was doing in the country, where I was coming from and where I was going. I was made to understand this is an effort by the Gbagbo government to prevent the rebels from coming in and causing havoc.

Residents of Abobo district, a suburb of Abidjan, flee the quarter carrying their luggage on their heads on February 25, 2011
Residents of Abobo district, a suburb of Abidjan, flee the quarter carrying their luggage on their heads on February 25, 2011

Citizens have dubbed the insurgents “invisible commandos,” who often operate at night. Clottey says they also mix in easily with the population, making it all the more difficult for the military to tell them apart from ordinary civilians.

As a result, night life has ground to a halt, even without a formal curfew.

You [don’t] see people at 7 p.m. moving from place to place enjoying the night life. Because of the crisis, [going out] has been brought down to the barest minimum. Most bars are closed by 9:30 p.m.

Two days ago, the neighborhood of my hotel was attacked and rebels were shot at by the military. Though there were no reported deaths,  it drew the attention of most people in the area.

Many people say they are in favor of some sort of compromise between Gbagbo and Ouattara so life can return to normal.

What I’ve heard, is that the two leaders should hold a face to face dialogue to resolve the issue. Most people I spoke to say the two leaders should not hold the country as ransom, and they were saddened that EU measures blocking trade have been put on the country when, they say, other measures could be taken.

Some pharmacies fear the EU measures will prevent them from re-stocking medicines, including those for treating malaria and HIV/AIDS.

Others say it is unfortunate the international community seems not to know what to do about the crisis, and some accuse the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union of failing to appreciate what ordinary Ivorians are going through at the moment.

On Friday, the AU reaffirmed Ouattara as the legal president of Ivory Coast. ECOWAS backs the imposition of sanctions against Ivory Coast, and has suspended it from all of the regional organization’s decision-making bodies.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Resolve Nuclear Deal Issues

Leaders find resolution on issues of liability of suppliers to India in event of nuclear accident, US demands to track whereabouts of material supplied to country More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track 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.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid