BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Thursday, 19 September, 2002, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
Eyewitness: Fear on Abidjan streets
Ivorian soldiers
Troops have frequently been on the streets
Jenine de Giovanni, who reports for the Times newspaper, was caught up in the shooting which erupted in Ivory Coast's commercial capital, Abidjan, on Thursday and spoke to the BBC's Network Africa programme.

"I was awoken this morning at 3 am by mortars and gunfire. I could hear from my house, which is in the Deux Plateaux region, a sort of suburb of Abidjan, a lot of shooting. I locked my house - I was alone."


In the heat of the moment when you are being shot at in the car you try to get out as soon as possible

Jenine de Giovanni

She said her boyfriend came to get her and they started to drive into the centre of the city

"The streets were very eerie, deserted, but there was a lot of heavy shooting.

"As we passed the police academy we heard more shooting, we then came upon a road and came under fire - crossfire between the two sides of the boulevard - we reversed but our car was hit by a Kalashnikov. No one was hurt but we did have a local man who jumped into the car in absolute terror.

"We then sped to the centre of town but not before I saw four or five young men, not in uniform, running with light arms across the road. They looked very similar to me from other fighters I've seen in other parts of West Africa, in Sierra Leone and Liberia."

She went on to say that the men looked like young rebel fighters rather than soldiers.

But that, "in the heat of the moment when you are being shot at in the car you try to get out as soon as possible".

Asked if the firing was continuing she said: "Yes, it is. I haven't heard a mortar for about an hour but I have heard a lot of automatic fire - machinegun fire.

Ms de Giovanni added: " I'm inside, I'm looking out at my balcony now - the street is completely deserted and normally it would have been at this time full of vendors and people walking to work.

"There's no one on the street, People are inside listening to the radio and television and trying to understand what's going on because we're getting very little information."

See also:

19 Sep 02 | Africa
03 Jul 02 | Africa
31 May 02 | Africa
27 Oct 00 | Africa
07 Mar 02 | Country profiles
03 Jul 02 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes