Western Ivory Coast sees rise in unrest

President blames fighters loyal to former leader for series of deadly cross-border raids after 2010-2011 civil war.

    Aid workers say western Ivory Coast has seen a serious increase in unrest and instability, as the country's president blames a series of cross-border raids on Liberia-based fighters who are loyal to former leader Laurent Gbagbo.  

    Gbagbo's refusal to step down after losing the 2010 presidential election unleased a four-month civil war, in which around 3,000 people were killed.

    And that unrest appears to be lingering. Just this month, an ambush in the region killed 22 people, including seven UN peacekeepers.

    Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from the western Ivory Coast.

    Gbagbo is at the International Criminal Court at the Hague facing war crimes charges. He refused to cede power following a 2010 election which he lost, opening old wounds that plunged the country into a six-month civil conflict.

    The violence has forced 13,000 people to flee their homes, according to UN estimates.

    In response to mounting pressure from the Ivory Coast, Liberia has agreed to extradite 41 Ivorians accused of taking part in the deadly post-election violence in their homeland back to the Ivory Coast.

    A court in the remote eastern Liberian town of Zwedru, near the Ivorian border, ordered the extradition late on Thursday. It is due to be carried out within 30 days.

    The Liberian state prosecutor charged the men with mercenary activities after they crossed the border with a large quantity of arms in July 2011, according to a petition for extradition filed last month.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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