Meanwhile, in Ivory Coast...

[Trigger warning for violence; sexual assault.]

While the international community turns its eyes toward Libya, the situation in the Ivory Coast continues to deteriorate.

Background: The country has not recovered from the bloody 2002 civil war that split the country in two, during which rape was widely used as a weapon by both sides. A unity government was meant to solve the tensions that caused the conflict, but, by 2004, the peace agreement had effectively collapsed, and more fighting ensued. Another peace agreement was signed in 2007, and, late last year, a hotly contested election launched the country headlong into more unrest.

Now, bluntly reports Mahamat Amadou for BBC Afrique, there is "the real danger of a bloodbath in Abidjan."
Even if [current president, who is refusing to give up the presidency] Laurent Gbagbo decides to flee, some of his militant supporters, known as the Young Patriots, have been given weapons and have been repeatedly told that [UN-recognised president] Alassane Ouattara and his supporters are not true Ivorians. They could decide to fight on.

Equally, there are ill-disciplined pro-Ouattara armed groups operating in the city.

Abidjan is a patchwork of areas, each controlled by different groups. UN peacekeepers and French troops have deployed into strategic points around the city in order to protect civilians.

But if street battles break out, with militants attacking each other and civilians from groups seen as allied to the other side, UN peacekeepers will struggle to live up to their mandate.
It is a terrible situation, and many people will be hurt and killed as the country tries to find resolution.

President Obama has recorded a video message to the people of Côte d'Ivoire wishing them well.

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