Ivory Coast: December 6, 2002


The Ivory Coast's nasty little war has taken a foul turn, with apparently heavy urban combat. Refugees fleeing Man told the press that there were hundreds of dead, most of them rebels recognizable by their distinctive yellow or black headbands. Residents said bodies were being collected and buried, but no official death toll has been given. Those slain earlier in the week are already starting to stink. Soldiers at a roadblock four miles south of the city admitted on the 5th that they were still hunting rebels in the city. A French expatriate who fled the city saw two loyalist Mi-24 helicopters, two "tanks" and heavy machine guns in action during fighting on the 1st. 

There is a legitimate concern that atrocities committed earlier in other parts of the country will be repeated in Man. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appealed to both rebels and loyalists in the Ivory Coast on 5 December to stop summary executions, and to treat wounded and captured combatants "with humanity." - Adam Geibel


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