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Ivorian Forces Battle Internally

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The recent attack on the Ivorian town of Tai, a few kilometers from the Liberian border which the Ivorian Defense Ministry claimed may have come from Liberia, has sparked miss reactions among the Ivoirians living within the territorial limits of Ivory Coast. Reports coming out of Ivory Coast last Saturday’s attack which killed about 15 persons, blamed the government of Alassane Outrattara.

Eye witnesses in that country contacted by the New Dawn said the attack was a result of attempts  by the Republican Forces of Cote d’Ivoire or  FRCI to disarm some of the group’s allies who had refused to turn over their weapons in compliance with a government mandate.

Since President Outratara became president, the FRCI allies( militias, including mercenaries) have been holding key installations such as ports and other revenue generating areas which the government viewed as serious economic sabotage, negatively impacting its ability to meet up with national obligations.

Recently, the Government of Ivory Coast requested the militias to turn over their weapons and return to normal life in their respective Communities. President Ouattara said on state TV: “If you are soldiers, go back to the barracks; a student, go back to school or a farmer, go on your farm.”

But some soldiers of the  FRCI and their militias allies refused, demanding compensations or benefits to the tone of  half a million CFA or US $1000.00  per  fighter. According to our sources within Ivory Coast, the weekend attack in Tai was not an incursion from Liberia as reported by foreign news outlets, but an internal matter arising from attempts by Ivorian Security forces to disarm their former allies.

Our Ivorian contacts also disclosed that the weekend attack was part of a series of attacks planned by the Ivorian State Security Forces on all “unwanted FRCI-controlled” territories to include Guiglo, Toulepleu as well as the entire Danane Region. These reports have not been independently confirmed.

Meanwhile, another attack in the Toulepleu town of Pehe has been reported. Dozens of people are reported to have been killed. The attack reportedly took place on Monday, two days after the Tai incident. It is not yet clear who actually carried out the attack. An investigation is presently ongoing by our reporter in the region to confirm the attack and those behind it.

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