Pro-Ouattara forces advance on Abidjan

Rebels attack Gbagbo's palace as UN evacuates foreign workers

Forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the UN-recognized president of Ivory Coast, have launched an assault on the fortified residence of Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to give up power since losing presidential elections in November. Pro-Gbagbo forces are fighting back against the rebel assault, but with Ouattara supporters controlling about 80 per cent of the country, many observers are saying Gbagbo’s government is in its final hours. There have been reports that pro-Ouattara forces have been committing human rights violations, such abductions and attacks on civilians, as they continued their advance on Abidjan, and the UN has encouraged Ouattara to rein in his supporters. A Swedish UN worker was killed by gunfire in her home on Thursday. Five hundred foreign workers were evacuated to a military camp by French troops, and UN peacekeepers have taken control of Abidjan’s international airport.

BBC News

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