Heavy fighting shakes Gbagbo grip on Ivory Coast

Ouattara's forces launch major assault on presidential palace after UN and French airstrikes leave Gbagbo military bases in flames.

April 5, 2011 13:11
1 minute read.
Soldier loyal to Gbagbo in Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast Soldier 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


ABIDJAN - Forces loyal to Ivory Coast's presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara launched a major assault on the presidential palace on Tuesday, driving home their campaign to oust Laurent Gbagbo after UN and French helicopters left his military bases in flames.

Sustained machinegun and heavy weapons fire rang out into the morning from the direction of the palace in the commercial capital Abidjan, in the heaviest fighting since soldiers backing Ouattara entered the city five days ago.

Gunfire and explosions were also heard near Gbagbo's official residence in the leafy neighborhood of Cocody early on Tuesday, as well as in Adjame, where one of Gbagbo's largest military bases is located, witnesses said.

"We spent the whole night locked in our house, on the floor with our hands covering our ears to block the sounds of the explosions," Jacques Djoble, a resident of Cocody, told Reuters by telephone.

The United Nations peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast, supported by the French military, targeted Gbagbo's heavy weapons capabilities with attack helicopters after civilians were killed in shelling in recent days.

Attacks centred on military bases in the city, but also on rocket launchers "very close" to Gbagbo's Cocody residence, UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy told reporters during a news briefing late on Monday.

A spokesman for Ouattara's government said late on Monday that his troops -- which have been in the city since last Thursday -- had since taken control of Gbagbo's residence. A pro-Gbagbo military source denied the claim.

"Despite the bombardments, we are holding all of our positions, meaning the palace, the residence and all of our military bases," the source told Reuters on Tuesday, asking not to be named.

Ouattara's envoy to Paris said on Tuesday that he believed Gbagbo was in the process of negotiating his surrender, but a Gbagbo adviser also in Paris denied it, saying Gbagbo remained in his residence and would not budge.

The fighting in the West African cocoa grower nation pushed cocoa prices lower on Tuesday as dealers bet on a swift end to Gbagbo's rule and a resumption of exports. The country's defaulted $2.3 billion Eurobond rose as the assault raised expectations for repayment.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

AUSTRALIAN AMBASSADOR Dave Sharma (left) and Josh Frydenberg, Australian minister for environment an
May 20, 2019
Dave Sharma, Former Aussie ambassador, wins seat in parliament