Security forces loyal to Ivory Coast’s incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo have eased a curfew around an area of Abidjan, the scene of recent clashes.
The Gbagbo government says six police officers were killed in the suburb of Abobo by supporters loyal to presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara on Wednesday.
One Abobo resident said:’‘It wasn’t the rebels who shot the police as they claim. It was youths who shot them. We do not want to see any police her again otherwise we will shoot them.’‘
The head of Ivory Coast’s army General Philippe Mangou, who still remains loyal to Gbagbo, warned the attacks by opposition supporters amounted to acts of war.
He also accused the UN of exceeding its mandate and said his troops would attack if provoked.
‘‘The UN is not looking after their mission anymore, and is no longer an impartial force. The Ivorian government has asked the UN to go back home so if the UN attacks us, we will shoot back,’‘ Mangou said.
While the relationship between pro-Gbagbo forces and the UN continues to deteriorate, calm has reportedly returned to the streets of Abobo in Abidjan following two days of clashes.
The West African nation has been in crisis since the November 28 presidential poll that both Ouattara and Gbagbo claim to have won.