Violence is escalating in Cote d’Ivoire
Cote d’Ivoire rebels said they captured the western town of Toulepleu
from pro-Gbabgo forces and militias on Sunday, continuing a push south
that threatens to reignite civil war in the West African state.
Heavy fighting erupted in western Cote d’Ivoire between rebels and
forces loyal to incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, sources along the
Liberian border told Reuters on Sunday, a week after the rebels
captured two smaller towns to the north of it.
"Since 1410 (on Sunday), the town of Toulepleu has been under the
control of the New Forces (anti-Gbagbo rebels). We managed to seize
some arms," Mara Lassine, military spokesman for the rebels in the
western zone, told Reuters by telephone.
There was no immediate comment from Gbagbo's military. The town is not
Cote d’Ivoire has been in turmoil since a disputed November election
that threatens to rekindle the West African state's 2002-03 civil war,
and has already drastically cut exports from the world's top cocoa
The standoff has escalated into open armed conflict in the west and
parts of the main commercial city Abidjan, and fears of another civil
war have pushed cocoa futures to their highest for decades.