Gbagbo loyalists attack UN staff

2011-01-13 21:41
Boys look at the remains of a burnt police truck in the Abobo neighbourhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. (Rebecca Blackwell, AP)

Boys look at the remains of a burnt police truck in the Abobo neighbourhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. (Rebecca Blackwell, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Abidjan - Supporters of embattled Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo on Thursday attacked at least four UN vehicles in Abidjan, with peacekeepers increasingly targeted in the deadly presidential stand-off.

UN patrols have previously come under attack from forces loyal to Gbagbo, who refuses to concede a November 28 presidential election to his besieged rival Alassane Ouattara, but not on the scale of Thursday's attacks.

"There were three vehicles which were burnt this morning in the Riviera II area," UN mission in Ivory Coast (UNOCI) spokesperson Kenneth Blackman told AFP, adding that Gbagbo loyalists were "certainly" responsible.

"There is no doubt about it," he said. A UN ambulance was also stoned on one of Abidjan's main bridges "by elements of the security forces of the Gbagbo camp," he said.

He was unable to say if there were any casualties in any of the attacks, which a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in Geneva could amount to war crimes.

"We are very concerned by these attacks," spokesperson Rupert Colville said. "Attacks on peacekeepers may be considered as war crimes."

Curfew

Troops loyal to Gbagbo on Tuesday night attacked a UN patrol in Abidjan, wounding three peacekeepers.

That attack happened in Abidjan's tense Abobo district, largely loyal to Ouattara, where hundreds of Gbagbo's Defence and Security Forces (FDS) moved in early on Tuesday.

Gbagbo slapped a night-time curfew on the restive area on Wednesday night, after 11 people died in violence there.

Army chief of staff General Philippe Mangou has said the curfew would be used to "seek and flush out everbody behind these attacks," and could be extended to other Abidjan neighbourhoods.

Ouattara's camp on Thursday denied it had been encouraging what General Mangou called "endless calls for civil disobedience, armed insurrection and murder of all sorts".

"We reject these accusations," Ouattara's government spokesperson Patrick Achi told AFP.

"It's the security forces who once more have sought to provoke the peaceful population. We will not respond to these provocations."

The attacks on the UN came the day after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern about reports that Gbagbo forces planned a new operation in Abobo.

"A curfew has been imposed and the forces loyal to Mr Gbagbo are attempting to force UNOCI military and police units dispatched to protect civilians to leave the area," Ban's office said in a statement.

"Any attacks on United Nations peacekeepers are unacceptable," the UN said, warning that those responsible "will be held responsible for their actions".

Mediation

Ivory Coast's military remains loyal to Gbagbo, who the world says was beaten by Ouattara in November.

The UN says that over 200 people have died in the crisis so far, with African-led efforts to mediate the stand-off failing to make any visible progress.

The African Union's mediator, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, is to return to Abidjan this weekend, he said following talks in Nairobi with AU Commission head Jean Ping.

The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) regional bloc has said it could use force to oust Gbagbo if he refuses to step down, but a statement from Odinga's office stressed again that this was a "last resort".

Ping and Odinga "expressed their disappointment after the U-turn of Mr Gbagbo who had undertaken to lift the blockade around the hotel where his adversary Mr Ouattara is staying," the statement said.

There are around 9 500 troops in UNOCI and the UN says they face increasing hostility. UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy has said he will request 1 000 to 2 000 extra troops in the coming days.

The UN says Gbagbo partisans have prevented it from investigating reports of mass graves filled with Ouattara supporters.

UN rights spokesperson Rupert Colville said another alleged mass grave had been reported at Issia, near the central-western town of Daloa but "the UN has not been able to verify its existence at this point," he said.

Read more on:    ecowas  |  alassane ouattara  |  laurent gbagbo  |  ivory coast  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:28 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router The B683 wireless gateway (hereinafter...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.