Escape

Mass Exodus from Ivory Coast

Fierce gun battles between supporters of Ivory Coast’s two presidential rivals forced thousands of people out of their homes, adding to what is already a mass exodus from the French-speaking former African nation. The fighting died down Sunday in Abidjan, the country’s financial capital, but residents are leaving anyway because they fear more violence is on the way. The United Nations estimates that about 200,000 of Ivory Coast’s 15 million people have left over the past two weeks. Alassane Ouattara is widely believed to have beaten incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo, but Gbagbo has said the election was rigged and refused to hand over power.