Ivory Coast rebels advance

Rebels backing Ivory Coast’s internationally-recognised leader Alassane Ouattara extended their gains by capturing a strategic crossroads and advanced towards the capital Abidjan after four months of political chaos following the disputed election.

Rebels backing Ivory Coast’s internationally-recognised leader Alassane Ouattara extended their gains by capturing a strategic crossroads and advanced towards the capital Abidjan after four months of political chaos following the disputed election.

Incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to leave office is quickly degenerating into a full-scale war in the world’s main cocoa-producing country, but accepting the rebels’ support could prove risky for Mr Ouattara if the fighters commit abuses in his name.

More than one million people have fled the fighting and at least 462 people have been killed since the November 28 presidential election. United Nations-certified results showed Mr Ouattara won the election but he has been unable to assume office because Gbagbo is refusing to leave after a decade in power.

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