Is war really on the horizon for Ivory Coast?
With the UN calling for reinforcements to support its troops in Ivory Coast while saying there’s a “real risk” of civil war, and as France tells its citizens to get out of the country as soon as possible, it looks increasingly possible that this already fragile West African country could be hit with an all out war.
Last week, Amnesty’s West Africa Researcher Salvatore Saguès said “Ivory Coast has never been so close to the resumption of a civil war”. Tragically this warning appears to edging nearer.
Already the signs are ominous. The Guardian today refers to reports of Laurent Gbagbo using ‘death squads’ against opponents, according to claims made by an opposition figure.
Amnesty has recently reported from eyewitnesses in the country that the violence is certainly intensifying and that Gbagbo’s supporters have been killing and abducting opponents.
One eyewitness said: “Around 7pm, a black Mercedes stopped in front of our compound. People wearing black T-shirts and military trousers entered into the courtyard and asked for Drissa. They took him and Rochlin and went away.” Their bodies were found two days later in the Yopougon morgue.
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