Violence erupts in Ivory Coast

Ivorians were bracing themselves for a bout of violence after Ouattara called on supporters to march to state television and government buildings controlled by the incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo.

Earlier, police in the main city of Abidjan fired tear gas to disperse Ouattara supporters as they tried to assemble. Police and soldiers have set up barricades around the television station in anticipation of the march.

Ouattara and Gbagbo both claimed victory in last month’s presidential runoff election and both have named their own governments, raising fears of a new conflict eight years after Ivory Coast’s civil war.

The United Nations, African Union and European Union have all recognised Ouattara as the winner of the vote while President Gbagbo retains loyalty of the army.

Witnesses say security forces shot and killed at least one person on Wednesday during an anti-Gbagbo demonstration in the capital, Yamoussoukro.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday he was deeply concerned about the threat of violence in Ivory Coast.  In a statement, Ban said recent developments have created a politically-charged environment where actions could have “unpredictable consequences”.

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