Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Quick update on Cote d'Ivoire

I noticed this story in the NY Times this evening and wanted to highlight it.

At least four demonstrators, including a 19-year-old woman, were shot dead by riot police officers on Tuesday as they protested the shooting deaths of women who marched last week, witnesses said.

The neighborhood where the women were killed last week is now autonomous, according to the article, "thanks to the shadowy young men with stolen Kalashnikov rifles who have waged an armed campaign against Mr. Gbagbo — the Invisible Commando, as the group is known in the neighborhood."

Laurent Gbagbo, most of you reading this blog will know, is the president of Cote d'Ivoire who is generally believed to have lost the election there last November to Alassane Ouattara. He, however, has refused to concede the election despite economic and other pressures applied to get him to go.

When Mr. Gbagbo’s security forces penetrate here [in the neighborhood where the women were killed], they do so only in armored vehicles, often spraying bullets on either side as they go through, residents said. Many civilians have been killed in this rough Ouattara-supporting neighborhood of Muslim immigrants from northern Ivory Coast, but so have some of Mr. Gbagbo’s security forces. It is the one neighborhood that has taken up arms against him.

This is not pretty.

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