At Security Forces Shooting Protesting Women Abidjan, Ivory Coast: At Least 7 Dead

Security forces loyal to President Laurent Gbagbo, who is clinging to power in Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire), fatally shot six women in the Abodo district of Abidjan, protesting his refusal to leave office Thursday, as the U.N. said more than 200,000 people have fled the intensified fighting.

Troops loyal to Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo have killed at least seven women during a protest calling for him to step down. The troops pulled up in armored vehicles and began shooting.

Supporters of Alassane Ouattara burned tires and furniture in the street to protest the attack.

Laurent Koudou Gbagbo has served as the President of Côte d’Ivoire since 2000. A history teacher by profession, Gbagbo was one of the primary opponents of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny. He founded the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) in 1982 and unsuccessfully ran for President against Houphouët-Boigny at the start of multi-party politics in 1990. When Robert Guéï, heading a military junta, barred other leading politicians from running against him in the October 2000 presidential election, Gbagbo was left as the only significant opposition candidate. Gbagbo claimed victory after the election and his supporters took to the streets, toppling Guéï; Gbagbo was installed as President.

Alassane Ouattara is an Ivorian politician who was the unelected Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire from November 1990 to December 1993 appointed to the post by the late President Félix Houphouët-Boigny. A technocrat, Ouattara trained as an economist and worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). He is currently the President of the Rally of the Republicans (RDR), a party which has its support base in the north of the country, and was a candidate in the 2010 presidential election.

Ouattara claimed to have won the 2010 election in a second round of voting against Laurent Gbagbo and declared himself to be the legitimate President of Côte d’Ivoire.

Following the 2010 presidential election, Gbagbo has been urged to stand down in favour of Alassane Ouattara, after the election cited Ouattara the winner, by the international community, including the Economic Community of West African States of which Côte d’Ivoire is currently a suspended member.

The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is a country in West Africa. It has an area of 322,462 km2, and borders the countries of Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana; its southern boundary is along the Gulf of Guinea. The country’s population was 15,366,672 in 1998, and was estimated to be 20,617,068 in 2009

Abidjan is the economic and former official capital of Côte d’Ivoire (the current capital is Yamoussoukro). It is the largest city in the nation, and the fourth largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris, Kinshasa, and Montreal. It has, according to the authorities of the country in 2006, 5,068,858 residents in the metropolitan area and 3,796,677 residents in the municipality. Only Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria has a larger number of inhabitants in this region. Considered a cultural hub of West Africa, Abidjan is characterized by a high level of industrialization and urbanization. The city stands in Ébrié Lagoon on several converging peninsulas and islands, connected by bridges.

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See also …
Wikipedia Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)