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Ivory Coast president cuts off power and water to north

March 3, 2011

From The Guardian

By David Smith

The Ivory Coast president, Laurent Gbagbo, has cut off electricity and water supplies to millions of people in the north of the country “for political reasons”, the UN has said.

The national power company reported that armed men entered its buildings on Monday night and ordered the shutdown, the latest step in an increasingly violent move towards civil war.

“The statement of the electricity company (says) this energy shortage is not due to technical issues,” a UN official, Ndolamb Ngokwey, told the BBC. “They clearly said it has to do with the political situation, so it was cut for political reasons.”

A war eight years ago divided the country into a rebel-controlled north and a loyalist south. Issia Doumbia, a spokesman for the New Forces rebels, who control the north and are loyal to Gbagbo’s rival Alassane Ouattara, told the Associated Press: “Millions of people across the north are without water or electricity. During the entire war, Gbagbo never cut the people off. But now, things are turning bad fast.”

From The Guardian

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