News from Abidjan

I’ve just talked to a few friends in Abidjan and here’s what they are saying:

  • In a neighbourhood in Yopougon last night, houses where people of the ethnic group Dioula live were again marked with crosses.  They had a neighbourhood meeting about it, where the non-Dioulas of the neighbourhood denied any involvement in the markings. My friend thinks some non-Dioulas did the markings but don’t want to acknowledge it for fear of retribution.
  • Gunshots heard today on the first Yopougon bridge leading to the Plateu district.
  • Jet fighters flyovers over Abidjan heard yesterday.
  • No water or electricity in Abobo confirmed by several people I talked to.
  • The Ivorian FDS forces are mostly standing by, no longer supporting Gbagbo like before. Twitterer “Mareeblanche” writes: Abidjan:Ble Goudé au jeunes patriotes:”les fds ont echoué,a vous de faire le travail!traquez les rhdp partout en abidjan”! [Ble Goude to the Young Patriots militia: “The FDS have failed, it’s up to you to do the work! Hunt down the RHDP everywhere in Abidjan”]  which, while alarming, would support what my friends are saying.
  • The pro-Ouattara “Commando Fognon*”  is in control of Abobo. *Fognon means wind in Dioula.
  • Many new roadblocks manned by pro-Gbagbo militia set up in Abidjan, very hostile to foreigners and Ivorians with names from the northern part of the country.

3 thoughts on “News from Abidjan

  1. TechnicalHitch48

    Martin, As you know I live and work in Adidjan, and can add to your post:

    There does seem to be some credibility to the “Chasse aux Dioulas”, in Yopougon, and other areas, but I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the “crosses” … they are probably a leftover from the Polio vaccination campaign, and have just not been noticed, or given any attention !!

    Jet fighters certainly not!! There was a lot of helicopter activity, but I haven’t seen a jet fighter here since 2004! ONUCI doesn’t have any here, nor the French, nor the Ivoirians. So don’t know where that came from, and I was out and about most of the weekend, and being ex-RAF, I know what a jet fighter sounds like.

    It is like many Ivoirians who hear a grenade explode, without seeing it, think it is a heavy weapon (an artillery piece, or a tank). And a heavy weapon is one that cannot be carried or fired by one person, to give it a very simplistic definition.

    Water & Electricity … I’ve heard the same, and it is confirmed. What you didn’t report on was that the national TV station, RTI, had its transmitter taken out of action yesterday!

    FDS standing by? I’d take that with a little pinch of salt. They are probably, and quite rightly so, a little nervous of going into Abobo. They appear to have taken some considerable punishment, but I wouldn’t write them off yet.

    As for Commandant Fognon, of the “Invisible Commando”, he is beginning to become a bit of a hero, in certain quarters. The buzz going around now is: “after the wind, comes the hurricane” !!

    And I can confirm the random and anarchic road blocks by non-uniformed persons unknown. A French national (I don’t know if he was white, or non-white, I suspect the latter, as more would have been made of “un blanc”) was seriously attacked and beaten up at one of these, just because of his French nationality.

    As you may have guessed, I haven’t left by appartment today !!! I think my wife would have killed me had I tried to … at least it would have been less painful than if I had fallen into the hands of whoever it is out there !!

  2. Thought jet fighters sounded strange too. Gbagbo doesnt have any, nor does the UN I think. Only the French left then. I saw it on twitter, and then talked to a guy in Abidjan who said it too, but it looks likely they are hearing something else.

    The crosses were definetly new and no polio vaccine.

    Agree that there’s been a bit of inflation in the term “heavy weapons” in the Ivory Coast. I guess if you hear a grenade explode near you for the first time, it feels pretty heavy.

    I skipped the RTI thing as it’s already in all the media, wanted to try to add something new from first hand sources.

    Anyhow, take care and stay safe!

  3. Oh, and by the way, I heard there is another transmitter in Cocody, and that some parts of Abidjan can still see (non-satellite) RTI. What’s your take on that? Can you see RTI?

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