Ouattara troops on offensive
Following months of stalemate, the troops of internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara are close to taking control of the country.
Ouattara was elected in November 2010 but incumbent Laurent Gbagbo refused to recognise the election even though the international community confirmed Ouattara’s election.
Since then the stalemate has continued. On Monday (28th March 2011) Ouattara’s forces started to move south from their stronghold in the north and are reported to have entered Abidjan, taken the state controlled TV, RTI and are surrounding Gbagbo’s residence.
President Ouattara’s forces are said to control about 80% of the country, have closed land, sea and air borders and introduced a curfew from 2100 to 0600 GMT.
The army are said to have offered little resistance, suggesting that key officers have crossed to Ouattara along with head of the Gendarmerie Edouard Tiape Kassarate. General Phillipe Mangou, head of the army has sought refuge in the South African embassy.