Monday, March 22, 2004

Cote d'Ivoire: tensions rising

There's a demonstration scheduled for Thursday in Abidjan, organized by opposition politicians and rebels to protest the government's policies. They say they are going ahead with it even though there's an official ban on such protests.

Today, the Young Patriots movement, which is reportedly allied with President Laurent Gbagbo, threatened to disrupt the demonstration.

Abijan is on high alert and the government is treating the planned demonstration as a serious threat ...
"An attack on Abidjan is imminent and also with the march on the 25th we don't want to take any risks," said army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel N'Goran Aka.
Tensions have also been stoked by rumours of an attempted coup. The ruling party accused the Democratic Party of Cote d’Ivoire (PDCI) of conspiring with rebels to mount a coup ... charges the PDCI denied. (Earlier this month, the PDCI quit the coalition government.)