Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

TOUR DE TECH

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll increases in Sierra Leone

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Viviane Reding, MEP, European People's Party

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Schulz returns to Parliament presidency: back to business as usual?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Trash collection goes high tech

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users react to escalating violence in Gaza

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

  • Germany defeat Argentina 1-0 to win fourth World Cup title

    Read more

  • In pictures: 2014 World Cup historic moments

    Read more

  • Clashes erupt in Paris as thousands march to support Palestinians

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘a homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • Thousands flee northern Gaza after Israeli warning

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Legendary conductor Lorin Maazel dies aged 84

    Read more

  • Germany’s Tony Martin wins ninth stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Boko Haram claims Nigeria attacks and supports Iraqi militants

    Read more

  • French court lifts mayor’s ban on Muslim hijab at beach

    Read more

  • Shells land in Russia as eastern Ukrainians flee fighting

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament fails to agree on new leadership

    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

Comments

COMMENT(S)