Ivory Coast

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UN Fires at Gbagbo Forces

France gives military OK to take out his heavy weapons

(Newser) - The United Nations and France continued their crackdown in Ivory Coast today, with a UN helicopter firing on Laurent Gbagbo's forces and Nicolas Sarkozy giving his troops the OK to take out the entrenched strongman's heavy weapons, reports the AP . The UN said it acted to stop Gbagbo troops from... More »

UN Evacuates Ivory Coast, French Move In

Ouattara loyalists ready last push against Gbagbo

(Newser) - As forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara prepared a final push to drive Laurent Gbagbo from power in Ivory Coast, the UN was evacuating some 200 staffers from its oft-targeted headquarters in Abidjan. And as the UN moved out, an additional 300 French forces moved in, reports the AP, claiming control... More »

Ivory Coast Fighting Rages Amid Report of Massacre

Laurent Gbagbo rallies his forces; 800 reported killed in town

(Newser) - With most of the country now controlled by his opponent, and with both his home and the presidential palace surrounded, Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo today issued a final call to arms to defend his 10-year grip on power. Gbagbo's forces got a rare bit of good news when they... More »

Ivory Coast Fighters Begin Final Push

Pro-Ouattara forces close in on presidential palace

(Newser) - Fighters loyal to the Ivory Coast's elected president have descended on the country's main city in a final push to oust incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo. Forces backing internationally recognized leader Alassane Outtara have made rapid advances in recent days and now control around 80% of the country, AP reports. Heavy... More »

Rebels Seize Ivory Coast Capital

Forces backing internationally recognized leader make major gain

(Newser) - Fighters supporting Ivory Coast's internationally recognized leader seized control of the nation's administrative capital on Wednesday, marking a symbolic victory after months of political chaos sparked when the country's former president refused to step down after an election. The fall of Yamoussoukro caps a dramatic advance on the city from... More »

As War Looms, World Ignores Ivory Coast

Casualties and fears of all-out civil war mount

(Newser) - What if they had a civil war and no one watched? At least 52 civilians were killed last week in the Ivory Coast’s escalating crisis, but no one in the media seems to care, Time observes. The 5-month-old conflict has been pushed out of the headlines by the disasters... More »

200K Flee Worsening Ivory Coast Violence

Thousands flee Abobo, as gunfire fills the district

(Newser) - Worsening clashes between the two men who claim the Ivory Coast's presidency have driven some 200,000 people from the country's economic capital over the past two weeks, reports Reuters . Machine gun battles between the two forces raged over the weekend in the Abobo district of Abidjan, home to much... More »

Ivory Coast Military Guns Down 6 Women Protesters

Laurent Gbagbo has been shelling suburban town

(Newser) - Security forces loyal to the man clinging to power in Ivory Coast fatally shot six women protesting Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to leave office. The demonstrators were cut down by machine gunfire in Abobo, the suburb that has been the scene of the bloodiest clashes in the 3-month-old crisis. An assistant... More »

Ivory Coast's Ouattara: It's Time to Use Force

Leader urges West African forces to intervene against incumbent

(Newser) - Ivory Coast’s president-elect Alassane Outtara is holed up in a hotel that has been encircled by the army, on orders of incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, for two months. Now, Outtara tells Time , he’s ready for West Africa’s economic community to use force. “I wanted to give peace... More »

Gbagbo Strong-Arms Banks, Cocoa Farmers for Cash

Stubborn Ivory Coast boss evades sanctions

(Newser) - Determined to stay in power despite the international sanctions pressing down on him, Laurent Gbagbo is pressuring banks to continue lending to him, and cocoa farmers to pay their export taxes in advance. “He’s looking for $90 million, from here to the end of the month,” said... More »

Mediation Fails in Ivory Coast

Laurent Gbagbo offered amnesty, but still refuses to step down

(Newser) - Despite international pressure and the up-close-and-personal pressure provided by three visiting African leaders, Laurent Gbagbo still refuses to step down. "There is still a stalemate," said the president of Nigeria after he spoke with the envoys who met with Gbagbo and the UN-backed Alassane Ouattara yesterday. The mediators,... More »

UN Probes Reports of Ivory Coast Mass Graves

200 feared dead in post-election violence

(Newser) - As reports of mass graves and other atrocities pile up in Ivory Coast, UN peacekeepers have been tasked with investigating—but gaining access to affected areas may be easier said than done, reports the Guardian . The UN suspects that some 80 bodies may be housed in a building in a... More »

Thousands Flee Ivory Coast, Fearing Violence

At least 14,000 have walked to Liberia

(Newser) - Another ominous predictor of a violent end to the political paralysis in the Ivory Coast : At least 14,000 refugees have made the arduous trek to Liberia, reports CNN . The exodus follows the refusal of President Laurent Gbabgo to relinquish office, despite the opinion of pretty much the rest of... More »

Ivory Coast Militants Blocking Likely Mass Grave

Situation worsens in beleaguered nation

(Newser) - Masked gunmen with rocket launchers are blocking access to what officials believe may be a mass grave site in Ivory Coast, the United Nations said, as concerns grow that the West African nation could return to civil war. The UN reported that heavily armed forces allied with Laurent Gbagbo and... More »

Bank Cuts Off Gbagbo From Ivory Coast Funds

West African officials hope for mass defection from Gbagbo

(Newser) - Laurent Gbagbo's access to state funds is being cut off, stepping up pressure on the man who refuses to concede defeat amid post-election violence that has killed at least 173 people and prompted fears of civil war. The move is expected to complicate Gbagbo's efforts to pay civil servants and... More »

Dem Lobbyist Defends Work for Ivory Coast Leader

Lanny Davis questions media reports of his client's brutality

(Newser) - As reports of human rights violations in the Ivory Coast swirl, a Democratic lobbyist and PR expert continues to work for the incumbent president who refuses to step down despite having lost last month’s election. Why does Lanny Davis stay on the payroll of Laurent Gbagbo, despite “reports... More »

Fearing War, France Urges Citizens to Flee Ivory Coast

Meanwhile, World Bank freezes loans to the country

(Newser) - The World Bank has frozen loans to Ivory Coast as France urged its citizens to leave the West African country amid heightened UN concerns the nation risks returning to civil war. A French government spokesman told reporters yesterday that it was urging citizens to leave the country, a former French... More »

Ivory Coast Street Battles Leave Up to 18 Dead

New civil war feared as post-election violence continues

(Newser) - Gunfire and explosions shook Ivory Coast's main city today, as supporters and security forces loyal to the two men claiming to be president clashed, killing up to 18 people amid fears the violence could push the country toward another civil war. Rebels loyal to Alassane Outtara exchanged fire with government... More »

Mbeki Tries to Break Election Standoff in Ivory Coast

Borders are set to reopen today

(Newser) - Thabo Mbeki arrived in the Ivory Coast yesterday, in an attempt to break the political stalemate following the country’s disputed presidential election . The ex-South African president and African Union mediator met with both candidates, and told reporters that the conversation had been positive, according to the Wall Street Journal... More »

Ivory Coast in Chaos as 2 Claim Presidency

Incumbent president refuses to concede defeat

(Newser) - The two candidates in Ivory Coast's disputed presidential election took dueling oaths of office today after each claimed victory, renewing unrest in this country once split in two by civil war. Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo defied calls from the US, France, and the UN to concede defeat, wrapping himself in... More »

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