Gunmen fighting Ivory Coast’s incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo have been patrolling the streets of Abobo, Abidjan.
Known as the ‘invisible commandos’, the militia control large parts of the city. Gbagbo is also struggling to contain a separate rebel advance from the north.
Forces loyal to Gbagbo’s electoral rival Alassane Ouattara have now reportedly seized the towns of Duekoue, Daloa and Bondoukou after opening several fresh military fronts from their northern powerbase.
Gbagbo, however, remains defiant. He has refused to quit since last November’s disputed election.
That has all but rekindled Ivory Coast’s civil war. But unlike 2003, when French peacekeepers stepped in to stop the rebel advance, world powers are furious with the president’s refusal to cede power. For that reason, despite thousands fleeing the violence, it’s reckoned an intervention is unlikely this time.