Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cote d'Ivoire update

Things are not good, as a third day of fighting continues.

Neither side is particularly clean here. Those supporting the generally recognized winner of the presidential election were part of a massacre in the town of Duekoue.

A spokesman for the UN mission in Ivory Coast, Guillaume N'Gefa, told AFP that 330 people had been killed in Duekoue as Mr Ouattara's forces took over the town, most of them at the hands of the rebels.

More than 100 more people were killed by Mr Gbagbo's troops before they left, he added.

Mr N'Gefa said a UN team was still investigating and those figures were likely to rise.

Earlier the International Committee of the Red Cross said at least 800 died, while Roman Catholic charity Caritas put the figure at more than 1,000.

Staff of the ICRC who visited the western city of Duekoue said the scale and brutality of the killings were shocking.

Texas in Africa posts notes from a friend in Abidjan:

Things are escalating rapidly. I think there will be revenge killings for a while. And if any pro-Gbagbo forces are able to muster any strength back -- they will try to return the revenge again. It is absolute slaughter and chaos here right now. I am hoping the worst is over-- at least I thought it would be this morning when I woke up-- but unless Ouattara somehow starts controlling the FRCI [Forces Republicain de Cote d'Ivoire, which supports Ouattara] and his supporters-- I think it will continue for a while. And the way I see some of the Twittersphere egging the conflict on-- is worrisome. So much propaganda and cheering at the "democratization." SMS has been suspended (or at least ours is) so maybe this will stop some of the calls for violence, but cells are still working most of the time-- and almost everyone here has one-- so they can easily connect and find their opponents.

Doctors Without Borders also reports "hearing constant gunfire along with the occasional heavy detonation, and that’s been going on for a few days now. We had been moving around, visiting clinics and helping patients up until a few days ago. But the situation on the streets has deteriorated to such an extent that it’s just become too dangerous to go outside."

I don't even know what to say. Prayers continue.

No comments: