Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

Africa

Peacekeepers control Abidjan airport, French military says

Video by Nicholas RUSHWORTH

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-04-03

UN and French peacekeepers have taken control of Abidjan airport, the French military said Sunday, as clashes in the city continued between forces loyal to rival leaders Alassane Ouattara and incumbent Laurent Gbagbo.

AFP - Peacekeepers have taken control of the airport in Abidjan as forces loyal to the country's rival presidents struggle for control of Ivory Coast's main city, the French military said Sunday.
              
France has also boosted its Licorne (Unicorn) peacekeeping mission in the cocoa-rich nation by 300 to around 1,400 troops, where part of their mission is to protect foreigners from attacks and looting amid rising insecurity.
              

"This war is about what it means to be Ivorian"

"Licorne, in coordination with UNOCI (United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire), has taken control of Felix Houphouet-Boigny airport," chief of staff spokesman Colonel Thierry Burkhard told AFP.
              
"UNOCI and Licorne troops are ensuring security and air traffic control at the airport," Burkhard said.
              
This allows "civil and military aircraft to land at the airport so that foreigners wishing to leave Ivory Coast can do so," he said, adding that no decision had yet been taken to evacuate foreigners.
              
About 1,400 foreigners, a third of them French, took shelter Saturday at a Licorne camp in Abidjan.
              
The streets of Abidjan were deserted Sunday while fighting abated near bastions of strongman Laurent Gbagbo after a four-day assault by rival forces.
              

Military forces gear for final showdown
Terrified Abidjan residents have been in lockdown since the army of internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara arrived Thursday after a lightning offensive across the country, seeking to unseat Gbagbo.
              
Burkhard said that more peacekeepers had been flown in "to deal with any evolution of the situation."
              
"Two extra companies (around 300 soldiers) have been deployed in Abidjan by Hercules C-130 and Transall (C-160) transport planes," Burkhard said.
              
France already in recent days reinforced its troop contingent in Abidjan with around 150 troops.
              
The boost enables troops "to deal with any evolution of the situation and ton assure the security of foreigners."
              
Burkhard said that one French soldier had been shot and lightly wounded by forces loyal to Gbagbo.
              
The president of former colonial power France, Nicolas Sarkozy, is to hold a meeting on the situation in Ivory Coast at his Elysee Palace on Sunday afternoon, his office said.

 

Date created : 2011-04-03

  • IVORY COAST

    France ponders evacuating its 12,000 nationals

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Hundreds killed by Ouattara troops at Duekoue, UN says

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Gbagbo still standing as fight for Abidjan continues

    Read more

COMMENT(S)