Ivory Coast: An African Hell

The Pentagon is jumping into the African fire

In connection with the tense atmosphere in certain areas of the Ivory Coast, the Russian embassy is taking all requisite measures to ensure the security of Russian citizens. It is planned to evacuate a group of 14 Russian female citizens with the assistance of France.

When they arrive to capital Abidjan (around September 27), they will be temporarily placed on the territory of the Russian diplomatic mission. A spokesman for the Russian embassy in Abidjan, Konstantin Mizin, said to RIA Novosti that it is not planned to evacuate the Russian embassy.

Mizin stated that the situation in Abidjan was calm, although the curfew is still in effect. All institutions are functioning. The diplomat said: “The building of the Russian embassy is located in apt whereabouts. There are no indications that the situation is getting worse." In total there are 130 Russians in the country in total. Thirty-one of them are employed by the Russian embassy. The majority of the Russians live in Abidjan.

An coup attempt was made last week on the Ivory Coast. Up to 300 people reportedly died as a result. The Ivory Coast’s second largest city has been seized by rebels. It all started on September 19, when a group of soldiers (up to 750 people) attempted to seize state buildings in Abidjan, Bouake, and Korhogo. The soldiers were not happy about their dismissal from the army. The uprising was suppressed the same day, but the official government refused to acknowledge the incident as a coup. However, former Junta leader General Robert Guei was killed during the rebellion, as well as the country's home minister.

Battles started in Bouake and in Abidjan the next day. President Laurent Gbagbo promised that he would wage total war against the rebels. Governmental troops left for the city of Bouake, where the rebels were concentrated.

More French troops were sent to the country on September 22. Rebel leaders said that they were ready to negotiate with the government with French mediation. Yet, the statement did not lead to any further developments. The International Christian School in Bouake became the center of a battle yesterday. About one hundred American children are students at the school. At that time, the Pentagon decided to deploy units of American special forces to the country.

Last night was reportedly quiet on the Ivory Coast. However, there was a huge demonstration on Thursday. Thousands of Bouake citizens took to the streets of the city to support the rebels. They were yelling such slogans as “Down with Gbagbo!” or “Gbagbo, we are starving!” Another demonstration took place in the economic capital of the country, Abidjan. The people expressed their support for the president of the country and to the governmental troops.

AP photo: A French soldier smiles as he drives a tank down the road leaving Bouake, the Ivory Coast

Yegor Belous PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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