Ivory Coast: Chaos

Bitter fighting has broken out again between government forces and rebel troops around the important city of Bouake, northern Ivory Coast, after President Gbagbo refused to sign a ceasefire agreement.

Government forces were reported by rebel and independent sources to have pulled back from the city and Korhogo, also in the north, is said to be under the rebels’ control. The north of the Ivory Coast is predominantly Moslem, while the south is Christian. The fighting broke out on September 19th in the economic capital, Abidjan, Korhogo and Bouake. Abidjan was brought quickly under control, but not the northern half of the country, which the rebels control.

The government of Ivory Coast has accused Burkina Faso of being behind the revolt, after Burkina troops were allegedly involved in the Liberia and Sierra Leone conflicts, while Ouagadougou replies with aggressive statements against “the barbarity of the Ivory Coast forces and their instrumentalised civil groups” who are attacking and killing Burkina Faso citizens.

As the fighting increases and the country divides into two parts, the conflict takes on a more and more regional aspect by the day.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru

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