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Residents leaving a district in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Thursday AP Photo/Emanuel Ekra
Ivory Coast

Fighting erupts in Ivory Coast as political stalemate continues

The latest violence could bring about the end of the country’s six-year ceasefire.

HEAVY FIGHTING HAS erupted in Ivory Coast which the United Nations has warned could lead to a return to civil war in the country.

The Press Association reports that there were clashes in the Abobo district of Abidjan with residents forced to flee as a group of commandos loyal to disputed presidential election winner Alassane Ouattara claimed they killed 27 police and paramilitary forces.

The latest developments could be significant for the six-year ceasefire between the rebel north and government south.

Tensions have been high in the country since November’s elections, the first in ten years after which President Laurent Gbagbo refused to hand over power to Ouattara who was widely seen as the winner of the poll.

The UN spokesperson in Ivory Coast told the BBC the reports are “worrying” and that fighting could change the nature of the tension in the country as it will be two armies face to face making it “very, very complicated”.

Since the elections Gbagbo has sought to cement his power, staying in the presidential palace with the support of the army while Ouattara has been barricaded in a hotel.

Pro-Gbagbo forces are accused of killing over 300 people since the vote.

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