Libya isn’t the only African nation dealing with a civil war so serious that foreign forces had to jump in.
Sh*t is real in Ivory Coast too.
French peacekeepers in war-torn Ivory Coast took control of the airport in the main city late Saturday night, the French Ministry of Defense said Sunday, as a battle for Abijdan seemed to be looming.
An additional 300 French troops joined the United Nations peacekeeping mission overnight, the ministry added. There were about 7,500 troops already in the country under the U.N. mandate.
United Nations helicopters patrolled the skies over the city as a tense calm reigned Sunday morning, a local resident told CNN.
The uneasy peace came in the wake of claims of a massacre as fighters backing internationally recognized President Alassane Ouattara battle forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to leave office.
A journalist in the city said many people were afraid to leave their homes, but were being forced to venture out to get water.
Seyi Rhodes, who is staying at a hotel in Abidjan, said people were risking being shot in order to get to a water pump near the hotel.
He saw French journalists come under fire as they drove through the city, he said.
Much of the city has no electricity, he added, calling it “a really crude tactic to get people out on the streets.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanded Sunday that Gbagbo step aside immediately.
“Gbagbo is pushing Cote d’Ivoire into lawlessness,” she said, using the French name for the country. “He must leave now so the conflict may end.”
She also called “on the forces of President Ouattara to respect the rules of war and stop attacks on civilians.”
How bad could this possibly be, since U.S. media has barely mentioned this conflict at all?
The International Committee of the Red Cross said 800 people were shot to death in the western cocoa-producing town of Duekoue. A United Nations official put the death toll so far at 330.
The massacre occurred between Monday and Wednesday as Ouattara’s Republican Forces led an offensive through the country to Abidjan, said Guillaume Ngefa, the deputy human rights director at the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast.
He blamed 220 deaths on forces loyal to Ouattara. Ngefa said pro-Gbagbo forces killed 100 people.
Before the Duekoue killings, human right monitors documented 462 deaths in the Ivory Coast conflict, which would make the Duekoue massacre the single bloodiest incident yet.
Jesus take the wheel…