Ivory Coast - Gunmen Attack Army Post In Latest Raid


Gunmen attacked a military checkpoint north of Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan early on Wednesday, an army official said, adding to a wave of deadly raids in the West African state that threaten its recovery from a civil war.
The government on Tuesday said militias still loyal to ousted president Laurent Gbagbo were behind earlier attacks on military and police installations that had killed at least ten soldiers in Abidjan since Sunday, though the army said it was unclear who was behind the most recent raid.
One soldier was missing and another was seriously wounded in Wednesday morning's attack, which took place at the entrance to Agboville, around 75 km (50 miles) north of Abidjan, said Colonel Moussa Cherif, the Ivorian army's deputy chief of staff.
"I confirm the attack on a post in Agboville very early this morning by assailants, though we know nothing about their intentions or their identities," he said. "There is one seriously wounded among the (Ivorian army) and one is missing. We don't know if he was killed or kidnapped by the assailants."
Attacks on Ivorian security forces targets have heightened fears of renewed instability in the country as it emerges from a decade of political turmoil that ended last year in a brief but bloody civil war.
Some 3,000 people died in the conflict, which erupted when
then-president Gbagbo refused to acknowledge the victory of rival Alassane Ouattara in an election in late 2010.
The defence ministry has said the attacks, which followed several deadly cross-border raids by gunmen based in Liberia, aim to unsettle the population and foreign investors, who had begun to trickle back to the country.
Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa and once the economic engine of French-speaking West Africa.
Political allies of Gbagbo, now in The Hague awaiting trial before the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, have rejected the accusations and called for an impartial investigation into the violence this week.
Ouattara, now president, has succeeded in improving security in much of the country in the year since he took office, and the economy is now rebounding after 10 years of stagnation.
However, U.N.-backed efforts to remove from circulation thousands of weapons left over from the conflict have faltered, and the army and police remain crippled by internal division.

No comments