Just three days after defeat looked almost certain for Ivory Coast’s disputed president Laurent Gbagbo his forces are reported to have been regaining ground.
The UN said they are even closing in on the headquarters of the man widely recognised internationally as the rightful president, Alassane Ouattara.
Human rights groups say fighters from both camps have carried out atrocities during the power-struggle in recent months. Ouattara’s forces have denied carrying out massacres.
Residents in Abidjan are fighting a different battle -to find food and water.
“We just need something to eat,” said one man outside a besieged supermarket, “some rice, some pasta, some sardines, that’s all.”
A woman added: “We are risking our lives coming here. It’s OK right now, but it’s dangerous because anything could happen at any time.”
After a week of fighting in the place once known as the ‘Paris of West Africa’ guards armed with machetes man supermarket entrances, and power supplies in Ivory Coast’s main city are sporadic.