Forces loyal to Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo have retaken ground from his presidential rival, Alassane Ouattawa in the main city of Abidjan, according to the United Nations.
They are said to be nearing the Golf Hotel where Outtara has been staying since international bodies recognised him as the winner of November’s presidential election.
The UN says Gbagbo’s soldiers took advantage of a lull created by negotiations for their leader’s surrender.
“While we speak, they might be very close to the Golf Hotel. They have clearly used the lull of Tuesday as a trick to reinforce their position. They sent the general to say they agreed to negotiate, in fact they were consolidating their position,” comented UN peacekeeping chief, Alain Le Roy.
Just a few days ago it looked like Gbagbo’s defeat appeared imminent.the position is a lot less clear, with France saying its embassy has come under fire.
In another indication he’s regaining influence, Gbagbo’s RTI television has been back on air, broadcasting an appeal for support.