War?

As the world turns its collective gaze on the increasingly complex situation in Libya, events in Ivory Coast continue to go from bad to worse. I’ve tried to chronicle some of the issues in the country, but to be honest, it is more or less impossible to really know what is going on. However, the noise on twitter seems to suggest that the situation has become more serious in the last forty eight hours. From what I can gather the rebel forces or the forces loyal to the incoming, elected president (depending on your point of view) have started to move south and have occupied some strategically important towns.

Fighters backing internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara claimed fresh gains in attacks across Ivory Coast, their biggest offensive yet against his rival Laurent Gbagbo.

Commanders of the Republican Forces said they had made gains in both the east and the west of the country during the day’s fighting.

By late Monday, they had entered the eastern town of Bondoukau, near the border with Ghana, witnesses said, though it was as yet unclear if they had complete control of the area.

“Since 7:00 pm (1900 GMT), we are hearing Kalashnikov and heavy weapons fire,” one resident told AFP. “They are telling us that Republican Forces have entered,” she added.

A local journalist said there was no sign of Gbagbo’s fighters in the town, only the Republican Forces. Another resident said locals had welcomed the pro-Ouattara fighters as they moved through in sports utility vehicles.

“We have taken Bondoukau and our guys are heading towards Tanda,” further south, said a source at the Republican Forces’ command centre in Bouake, in the centre of the country.

Read more.

One interesting question: how come the Sydney Morning Herald has the most detailed news story on this?

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