Threats and ethnic rivalries get wilder as President Gbagbo's
mandate runs out
Violence looms again. President Laurent Gbagbo's five-year term in office ended on 26 October but he insists on staying on. National elections are blocked by the stalemate between the government and the northern rebels, who style themselves the Forces Nouvelles (AC Vol 46 Nos 18 & 20). On 29 October in Abidjan, the pro-Gbagbo Jeunes Patriotes watched an elaborate parade by the government army. On 30 October, the opposition electoral alliance, the Rassemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la Démocratie et la Paix, gathered in thousands to demand Gbagbo's departure and fresh negotiations. After the rally ended, thousands set up burning barricades and marched towards the Central Plateau district, where the presidency is located. Police fired in the air and dispersed the demonstrators.
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