Ivory Coast: Our Observers live from the protests in Abidjan

 Alassanne Ouattara has called on his supporters from the opposition RHDP coalition to march on the state television and radio headquarters in Abidjan. The situation is very tense, with early reports of deadly clashes coming in.  


In front of Ouattara’s RHDP headquarters in Abidjan, this morning at 9am.

Alassanne Ouattara has called on his supporters from the opposition RHDP coalition to march on the state television and radio headquarters in Abidjan. The situation is very tense, with early reports of deadly clashes coming in. We are following the situation live with the reports and photos of our Observers on the ground.


Both Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo claim to have won November 28’s presidential election, and both have declared themselves president. But Alassane Ouattara is the only President recognised by the international community after the independent electoral commission declared him winner with over 54% of the votes. However the Ivory Coast’s constitutional council, whose members are close to outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo, declared the results invalid and proclaimed Gbagbo president.

Troops loyal to Gbabgo have mobilized to block the march towards the state television and radio (RTI) headquarters, setting up a cordon of armoured cars around the broadcaster’s Abidjan offices.



Click here for FRANCE 24's full coverage of today's events in Abidjan.


5:00 pm: One of our Observers sent us this photo of an RHDP activist killed while protesting in Abobo, a neighbourhood in Abidjan.


4:15 pm: France 24's special correspondent in Abidjan reports that up to thirty people were killed in the protests, including four members of security forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo. He adds that the heavy artillery fighting that took place in the morning around the Golf Hotel is over and that the streets of Abidjan are calm. Gbagbo's troops control all of the city’s main bridges and avenues.


2:15 pm: Ouattara’s entourage issues a statement calling Ivorians to “continue mobilising”


1:58: Five dead reported in latest toll.


1:57 pm: Filou [not his real name] is an entrepreneur in Abidjan and RHDP supporter. He is in front of the RHDP headquarters.


There are armoured trucks that drive by the building and stop. When they arrive, the protesters retreat, and when the trucks leave they come back out of it. And they’re singing.”



12:30 pm: 


Abis [not his real name] is a communications engineer in Abidjan. He is in front of the RHDP headquarters and intends to march towards the RTI television headquarters.


Armoured trucks are driving around the neighborhood and we can’t leave the area for now. We heard shots, but it’s hard to tell whether it’s real gunshots or tear gas. I haven’t witnessed direct clashes yet. Both camps are facing each other, and the activists are very disciplined. The atmosphere is very tense.  "


12:15 pm:


According to one of our Observers: members of the FESCI (pro-Gbagbo student union) have erected barricades in front of the University of Cocody (in Abidjan). It is possible to access the television headquarters by crossing the university campus.



12:10 pm: Fierce gunbattle between troops loyal to Laurent Gbagbo and rebel fighters supporting Alassane Ouattara. Explosions were heard around the latter's headquarters in the Golf Hotel (AFP).


12:00 pm :


Police barricade deployed in Cocody, several meters away from the RTI television headquarters. Photos sent by one of our Observers.



11: 45 am:


One protester killed, according to police sources.


11h :


RHDP protesters marching towards Abidjan at 9am this morning. Photo taken by one of our Observers in Grand Bassam, east of Abidjan. Activists are marching from all over the country to join the protests in Abidjan.

10:30 am:


Mae (not his real name), one of our Observers, is in the neighbourhood of Youpougon, in Abidjan.


We tried to leave the neighborhood but all the streets are blocked by security forces. Troops shot into the air to attempt to disperse gathered RHDP activists and we decided to go home. Everything is blocked around Youpougon.”


In the Abidjan neighbourhood of Treichville. These photos were sent by one of our Observers. He says that shots were fired by security forces.


9:30 am: 

Abis is a communications engineer and RHDP activist in Abidjan. He plans to participate in this afternoon’s march.


We’re ready to go. We’re just waiting for the signal from the RHDP headquarters (just across the street from where I live) to start the march towards the television headquarters. It will be a peaceful march. There is no need for violence. All we want is to take control of the television station. We do not plan to use force.”


In front of the RHDP headquarters in Abidjan.