Africa

Gunmen attack Ivory Coast power station, security facilities

pauk-koffi-300x200Gunmen attacked a power station and security facilities in and around Ivory Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan in coordinated overnight raids that ended early on Monday, the defence minister said.

Defence Minister Paul Koffi Koffi said a group of armed men disarmed guards protecting the Azito thermal power station in Abidjan’s Yopougon neighbourhood late on Sunday night and briefly occupied the site.

“Around 30 elements tried to take Azito. They were pushed out and 10 were taken prisoner with their arms. They are now being interrogated,” he told Reuters.

“Nine of the people who were arrested at the scene included two policemen, two gendarmes, two marines and two civilian,” Koffi Koffi said.

One of the station’s turbines, responsible for around 15 percent of Ivory Coast’s total electricity production, was damaged in the raid and had been shut down, the mines and energy minister said.

“There won’t be any blackouts resulting from the damage, which seem to be serious, because the Azito team knows what they are doing,” Adama Toungara said.

Gunmen launched another raid in the town of Bonoua, around 60 km (40 miles) east of Abidjan, where they attempted to break into a police station and gendarmerie to steal weapons.

A spokesman for the Ivorian army said the attacks were “synchronised”.

Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa grower, is recovering from a brief civil war last year that erupted after Gbagbo refused to the accept Ouattara’s victory in an election in late 2010.

More than 3,000 people were killed in the violence, and Gbagbo is now awaiting trial before the International Criminal Court charged with crimes against humanity.

While many of the leading members of his government and military were arrested following the fighting, others fled the country and are living in exile, mainly in neighbouring West African states.

Gunmen began attacking army and police installations mainly in Abidjan and other southern towns in August, after more than a year of relative peace.

Ghana’s government has denied the accusations, and Gbagbo’s backers say Ouattara’s government is using the violence as a pretext for a crackdown on the opposition and dozens of arrests.

However, a confidential report by U.N. investigators seen by Reuters last week said Ghana-based former members of the Gbagbo regime had created a “military structure,” hired mercenaries and established several training camps in eastern Liberia. The investigators said the aim was to topple Ouattara’s government.

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
https://www.codewit.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *