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Côte d'Ivoire

UN workers attacked in Abidjan

Reuters/Luc Gnago
2 min

Five attacks on United Nations vehicles and workers were reported in Abidjan on Thursday. A doctor and an ambulance driver were injured during one attack. Two vehicles were burnt and three were damaged.

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The ambulance was taking a patient to a hospital when it was stoned by a group of people who in both military and civilian clothing. The patient was hit in the head with a stone.

"In Côte d'Ivoire right now the only people who can do things like this in the company of uniformed persons are supporters of Laurent Gbagbo," Kenneth Blackman, the acting spokesman of the UN operation in Côte d’Ivoire, told RFI. "If you were from the opposition you definitely would not want to be in a crowd like that."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also blamed forces loyal to the incumbent president.

"The secretary general is deeply concerned that regular and irregular forces loyal to Mr Gbagbo have begun to attack and burn United Nations vehicles," his spokesman said. "He stresses that both attacks on peacekeepers and destruction of assets deployed for purposes of protecting civilians constitute crimes under international law.”

The spokesman added that Ban condemns the use of the state broadcasting corporation RTI to instigate violence against the UN peacekeeping mission.

The United Nations, which has more than 9,500 peacekeepers in Côte d’Ivoire, has recognised Alassane Ouattara as president after the country's 28 November election.

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