Body found in the Koumassi neighbourhood in Abidjan. The image was sent in by one of our Observers.
On Monday, three men were on their way to greet a delegation of African Union mediators in the city of Abidjan when they were allegedly intercepted by Ivorian National Security Forces and brutally murdered. The dismembered bodies were discovered by locals as heavy fighting resumed in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, and other western cities forcing many to flee their homes by foot.
Clashes have reignited between forces loyal to incumbent leader Gbago and pro-Ouattara supporters unleashing a new wave of violence. Fifteen people have been killed in the past week according to the United Nations.
These development is just the latest escalation in the country’s political deadlock that began last November after President Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept the United Nation’s certified election results. The international community recognises opposition leader Alassane Ouattara as the democratically-elected president of the cocoa-producing nation.
The United Nations warned Thursday that clashes over the contentious election results could lead to civil war.
OUR OBSERVERS SENT IN THESE IMAGES ON MONDAY.
Ouattara head to the Port Bouet Airport in Ivory Coast.
Witnesses say Gbago supporters fired at them with Kalashnikov rifles. Video sent in by one of our Observers.
WARNING THESE ARE GRAPHIC IMAGES. THE SCREEN SHOTS BELOW WERE CAPTURED FROM THIS VIDEO. HOWEVER DUE TO THE LEVEL OF VIOLENCE, IT CANNOT BE POSTED ON THE SITE.
Post written with Paul Larrouturou, journalist.
“All I want is for the international community to take notice of what is happening here. They’re not only killing people in Arab world. Blood is also flooding the streets in Abidjan”.
Lookman resides in Abidjan.
On Monday February 21, pro-Ouattara youths were going to meet in the Koumassi neighbourhood near the Khaira pharmacy. They wanted to head to the Port Bouet Airport to greet all of the members of the African Union who are trying to mediate this crisis.
[Since last December, African leaders have met numerous times with both camps attempting to broker a peaceful transition.]
Around 12:40 pm, Gbagbo’s National Security Forces came to the street corner and tried to disperse the crowd. When they saw that the youth continued making their way to the airport the opened fire with Kalashnikov rifles. They even had rocket launchers.
Two of the young men died immediately. The third boy, died when they were taking him to Treichville. I saw many people who were badly burned. As payback, the youths started setting cars on fire.
All I want is for the international community to take notice of what is happening here. They’re not only killing people in Arab world. Blood is also flooding the streets in Abidjan. We cannot move or work, we are really scared”.