Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Ivorian regime is approaching the end, between battles

.- After 10 years, the regime of Laurent Gbagbo in Ivory Coast seemed to reach their final hour on Friday, after both fighters surrounded his residence and the presidential palace and fought to overthrow the man who has refused to recognize its election defeat last year. Even before the evidence of a rapid military advance by the Ivory Coast who came to the door of his house, Gbagbo rejected calls to resign.

His aides, defiant, said that they will never give up, even though an armed group fighting to install the internationally recognized winner of the election, Alassane Ouattara, controls nearly 80% of the country, and now large swathes of the city large. "This is not give," said Gbagbo's presidential advisor, Fred Anderson.

"Not for the international community impose on our leader." On Friday, during the day, machine-gun fire was heard at each end of the road along the water, which leads to the palace. This is strategically located on a peninsula surrounded on all sides by a lagoon, with rocket launchers and military vehicles sped by the surroundings while Mi-24 helicopters hovered overhead.

Gbagbo delayed the November election for five years, and then canceled each year to promising, then failing, that would make the next. Ouattara's victory, with 54% of the vote, was first recognized by the country's electoral commission and then by the United Nations, which pored over thousands of tally sheets before certifying the results.

Ouattara has been recognized by governments around the world, and leaders ranging from President Barack Obama to his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy have called on Gbagbo to resign. Gbagbo, 65, has not been seen in public since the offensive began five days ago, but his inner circle says he is still in Abidjan and will fight to the end.

It is not clear where it's hidden, and Ouattara's supporters speculate that is in a bunker at the palace. At least 1 million people have fled the city and 494 have died during the four months of violence unleashed by the security forces of Gbagbo. At first, world leaders offered amnesty and a preferential outlet in exchange for a peaceful retreat.

The UN has said that his regime will be investigated for possible crimes against humanity. For most of the conflict, Gbagbo's security forces committed abuses against civilians, according to visits by The Associated Press at local morgues, direct reports from reporters and photographers, and interviews with Ivorian officials and rights human.

These reports reinforced the international stature of Ouattara, whose supporters only began to arm themselves and fight recently. That could change now that Ouattara has accepted the help of a rebel group based in the north, whose members constitute the majority of the fighters who now assail Abidjan.

With attacks from the west, central and east, the fighters took cities virtually without resistance, and seized more than three quarters of the country in four days. At the time of military vehicles entered in Abidjan on Friday morning, up about 50 thousand members of Gbagbo's security forces had deserted, as the UN envoy in Côte d'Ivoire, Choi Young-jin.

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