Ivorians seek safe havens as fighting escalates

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (PANA) – Ivorians are seeking safe havens as they flee  fighting in various parts of the country.

Several families, who succeeded in fleeing Abobo, a district of Abidjan, which was a battlefield for several weeks between incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, have settled in the compound of the St. Ambrose Catholic Church of Cocody-Angré in Abidjan,

“People have rushed to the parish. We cannot but accommodate them; they are people who do not know where to turn," one of the members of the church said.

“We could not sleep for several days at home in Abobo because of the heavy fighting. Children are traumatised, they don’t know where to go, that’s why they have come to the church," Yao Sylvain, a head of family, surrounded by his four children and his wife said.

On Monday morning, several people left the area of Port-Bouët II in the city of Yopoungon, where there were clashes on Saturday and Sunday between the security forces loyal to the two men.

Tension has risen over the past week, with the sound of heavy arms in several districts of Abidjan.

Côte d'Ivoire has been in crisis since the 28 November presidential run-off election which the two men are claiming.

The international community, however, recognises Ouattara and it has asked Gbagbo to hand power to him.
-0- PANA GB/AAS/IBA/MSA/MA 28Feb2011

28 february 2011 22:45:18

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