Belgium evacuates nationals from Cote d'Ivoire

Brussels, Belgium (PANA) - Belgium has evacuated 200 of its nationals from Cote d'Ivoire, where post-election crisis has degenerated to armed clashes, while 250 more remained in the African nation, according to Belgian Defence Minister Pieter de Crem.

The Minister told journalists here Monday that 27 of those who remain in the country are taking refuge in a French military camp in Port Bouet, Abidjan.

According to Mr de Crem, strict orders have been issued to the remaining Belgian nationals to stay indoors for security reasons.

The minister also said Belgian soldiers, whose number he did not give, had been dispatched to Cote d'Ivoire to protect Belgian diplomatic staff.

Fighting between forces loyal to President-elect Alassane Ouattara and incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused to vacate power despite losing last year's presidential election, have intensified since Thursday, for the control of the commercial city of Abidjan, the last remaining stronghold of Gbagbo.
-0- PANA AK/AAS/MSA/SEG 4April2011

04 april 2011 13:03:55

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