Cote d'Ivoire : African nation assisting France in Cote D'Ivoire

Ankhur

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Up to 1,000 civilians have reportedly been massacred in the town of Duékoué in the West African country of Ivory Coast. This is the biggest loss of life in the former French colony since the disputed presidential election in November 2010.



There has been a standoff between the two rival presidential candidates since the election. The stalemate has now descended into civil war, as Alassane Ouattara, who is backed by France, the United States and international bodies, tries to oust the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo.



Ouattara’s forces have seized most of the country, including the political capital, Yamassoukro, and the main port, San Pedro. They are now fighting to gain control of the commercial capital, Abidjan. Gbagbo retains the support of his 2,500-strong presidential guard, an unknown number of mercenaries and the Patriotic Youth movement. Many elements in the army have shifted their allegiance to Ouattara, following a United Nations Security Council resolution on March 30.



France and Nigeria sponsored the resolution that called on all state officials to recognise Ouattara. This was the signal for the beginning of Ouattara’s military assault on Gbagbo’s forces.


“In a sense, this resolution is maybe the last message that we wanted to send to Gbagbo which is very simple: Gbagbo must go,” France’s ambassador to the UN, Gerard Araud, said. “It is the only way to avoid a full-fledged civil war and maybe bloody violence in the streets of Abidjan,” he claimed.



The exact opposite has been the case. The UN resolution has given the green light for a civil war with disastrous consequences for the civilian population. One million people are thought to have fled the Ivory Coast in recent months. The numbers have swelled in the last few days. Many of them have crossed the border into neighbouring Liberia, which now faces a major humanitarian crisis in overcrowded refugee camps. Abidjan residents are sheltering in their homes as heavy shelling continues around the presidential palace and armed youths roam the streets. Shops and petrol stations have been looted.


http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24128
 
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