Ivorian crisis: Economic activities "dead" as soldiers patrol Abidjan

Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - Following Thursday's deadly clashes in Abidjan between forces loyal to both Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara, economic activities in the Ivorian capital have gone virtually "dead", PANA reported here Friday.

Instead of the usual hustle and bustle the Ivorian economic capital is known for, soldiers have now taken over the nooks and corners of the town.

From Yopougon, to Adjame, through Treichville, Koumasi and in other parts of Abidjan, usually crowded with people, dead calm is prevailing.  

"From what we saw on Thursday, we decided to park our cars, for more safety," said Sheriff, a taxi driver in Abidjan. Like him, several other communal and intercommunal taxi drivers and owners of public mini-buses have parked their vehicles.

Streets are deserted and only a few brave ones move around.

PANA reports that on Thursday, Abidjan was the scene of deadly violence when pro-Gbagbo forces battled pro-Ouattara demonstrators who had gone to the Television Station to install its officers.

Ouattara, a former prime minister, won the 28 November presidential run-off vote, according to the Ivorian Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), but that result was quashed by the Constitutional Council which returned Gbagbo, the incumbent president at the time, winner.

The international community backed Ouattara, saying that results released by CEI should prevail. It asked Gbagbo to relinquish power unconditionally.

Gbagbo refused to heed this advice and has gone on to constitute his government.

Ouattara, who has also announced his government, is operating from a hotel, the scene of the first clash on Monday.

The death toll from the clashes has not been ascertained but the Ouattara camp claims that 32 persons had been killed.

17 december 2010 19:09:37

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