Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Suspected gas cylinder blast kills 42 on Zimbabwe bus

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Theresa May soldiers on; Israel political turmoil; France fuel protests

Read more

FOCUS

'New right', old ideas? A closer look at the far right in Germany

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Art Deco: France's love affair with the Roaring Twenties

Read more

#THE 51%

India's vanishing women workers

Read more

REPORTERS

Reporters: An outside view of France's Fifth Republic

Read more

#TECH 24

Audrey Tang: A hacker-turned-minister in Taiwan

Read more

ENCORE!

The Land of the Rising Sun comes to La République

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Concerts Without Borders: Making classical music accessible

Read more

Africa

Ouattara fighters launch major offensive on key town

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2011-03-28

Fighting raged in a key town in western Ivory Coast on Monday as fighters loyal to internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara upped their offensive against forces loyal to incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo.

AFP - Fighters backing internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara Monday launched a "general offensive" in the west, centre-west and east of Ivory Coast, an army source said.

"There is a general offensive along the entire frontline," splitting the country in two since a failed coup in 2002, said a source from the army chief of staff.

The north is controlled by pro-Ouattara forces and the south by strongman Laurent Gbagbo's army.

"There was a rebel attack in Duekoue (west), an attack on the second battalion in Daloa (centre-west) and another near Bondoukou (east)," he said.

"In Duekoue fighting is still ongoing. In Dalao and Bondoukou, the attacks were repulsed," he added.

              
The chief of staff for Ouattara's Republican Forces army confirmed the three-pronged attack.

"In Duekoue there is a pocket of resistance in a sawmill at the western exit of the town," the source said.

"In Daloa, we attacked the second battalion barracks and this morning we took the town of Bediola," he said, adding the fighters were now moving into Dalao, the third biggest city in the country and entry to the cocoa belt.

Ivory Coast is the world's biggest producer and exporter of cocoa.

In the east the pro-Ouattara forces were 15 kilometres from Bondoukou, a town bordering Ghana.

The offensive comes as a four-month post-electoral crisis has raised fears the country is heading towards a full-blown civil war, with some 462 killed since the contested November election, according to the United Nations mission.

Despite intense international pressure, outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo is refusing to cede power to his rival after 10 years in power.

Date created : 2011-03-28

  • IVORY COAST

    UN orders probe into Ivory Coast killings

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    UN mission under pressure to contain Ivorian crisis

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Gbagbo supporters rally in Abidjan

    Read more

COMMENT(S)