Gbagbo's forces back in control of Ivorian television station

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (PANA) – Forces loyal to Ivorian incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo are back in control of the state television station, RTI, which resumed broadcasting at about 1000 GMT on Saturday.

The television station was the theatre of fierce fighting on Thursday night and went off air.

RTI director, Brou Amessan, accompanied by soldiers, visited the offices which were the target of the fighting.

Amessan urged the Ivorians to "congratulate the Defence and Security Forces (FDS) which have defended the nation".

Gbagbo's forces also broadcast a statement calling on soldiers to join them in the fight.

However, programmes are constantly interrupted and many technicians are not at post.

Fierce fighting has been raging in Abidjan since Thursday night between forces loyal to Gbagbo and his rival, Alassane Ouattara, the man recognised by the international community as winner of the 28 November 2010 election.

It is not clear which side has the upper hand in the fighting.

Residents of the city are terrified and are holed up in their houses. Thousands of Ivorians are also fleeing to neighbouring Ghana and Liberia.

The whereabouts of Gbagbo are still unknown.
-0- PANA GB/JSG/MSA/MA 2April2011

02 april 2011 12:56:14

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