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Two journalists flee Côte d'Ivoire after receiving death threats

Outgoing supporters: Supporters of Ivory Coast's outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo hold placards reading 'Peuple has elected Gbagbo' and 'Sarko in the hotel in 2012' during a demonstration on the Nation Square in Paris on January 23, 2010 as Gbagbo refuses to step down, while Alassane Ouattara, recognised by the world as the winner of November 28 presidential elections, remains holed up under UN protection in an Abidjan resort hotel.

A pro-Gbagbo Notre Voie newspaper correspondent in Korhogo, a town located about 600km north of Abidjan, fled the town after persistent threats against his life by New Forces, an armed group in Côte d'Ivoire supporting Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized president of the country.

The Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent in Côte d'Ivoire reported that Silué Kanigui fled on through Burkina Faso and Ghana and is now in Abidjan. Kanigui told the MFWA correspondent that he has been receiving verbal and written threats since November 28, 2010, after the second round of the country's presidential elections.

On voting day, he was threatened with death by the New Forces at Korhogo police station, where he had gone to inquire about a wounded Gbagbo supporter who had been sent to the police station instead of the hospital. He alleged that the New Forces promised to "eliminate [Gbagbo supporters] one by one" at the police station. Kanigui said he fled on December 4 when some youth group members of the Rally of Republicans (RDR), Ouattara's party, stormed his house and attempted to pillage it.

In a related development, Tibruce Koffi, a contributor to the Le Nouveau Réveil newspaper - which supports former head of state, Henri Konan Bédié -, has fled into exile in France claiming that he is being pursued by assassins hired by Gbagbo to execute him. In a letter published on January 24, Koffi revealed that the people hired to kill him actually helped him to flee. The open letter titled "From his exile in Paris, Koffi to Gbagbo" read: "You must be angry with the killers you engaged to eliminate me, because instead they helped me to flee the country."

Date posted: January 29, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 97