Euronews spoke to Jamal Wehabi, a shopkeeper in Abidjan who has had to close his store:
“Downstairs from my house, for the past two to three hours, I’ve seen a French convoy who are protecting French nationals. I also saw young men in cars, armed with Kalashnikovs.
I don’t know whether they’re patriots or rebels. For today, we don’t know who is who. So we’re all a little afraid. We’re all scared for our lives.
There are often rumors of violence against civilians, from neighbourhoods where you know there is looting going on.
We’re afraid, so we lock ourselves in our homes. We’re even afraid to go out on the balcony. There is a feeling of insecurity. As I speak, I can hear gunfire not far from my home.
Are we heading towards a bloody battle? We cross all our fingers that the answer is no. But we must be ready for all eventualities and maybe the worst is yet to come.
If this becomes a bloodbath, it would be really terrible. There are more than five million people in Abidjan, and with all these armed people, thousands of innocent victims could be killed. I think the war has caused enough deaths. There has been enough violence on both sides. Ivory Coast is tired. We’re all tired.”