Cote d’Ivoire’s military chiefs hold emergency meeting on protecting strategic sitesSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 18/10/2012 8:59 pm in World / 1 comment
ABIDJAN, Oct. 18 — An emergency meeting of Cote d’Ivoire’s high level military chiefs was held on Wednesday in Abidjan to discuss ways to provide “maximum security” for the country’s strategic sites, an official source told Xinhua on Wednesday.
Various military commanders as well as the commanders from the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (ONUCI) met under the authorization of the Cote d’Ivoire government to agree on the plan to protect the country’s strategic sites in order to avert any attack or any sabotage.
“With the support of Cote d’Ivoire’s defense ministry, we are assured that none of our strategic sites will be attacked,” the country’s Energy and Mines Minister Adama Toungara said.
He promised that there will be no power black-out following the destruction of some equipment at the Azito thermal power plant in Abidjan.
On Sunday night, armed individuals attacked the Azito power plant in western Abidjan and destroyed two of its turbines.
The Azito power plant is considered as a very strategic site for the country because it’s one of the sources of electricity to Cote d’Ivoire’s economic capital.
A total of nine people among the assailants were arrested and they included two police officers, two gendarmes, three marines and two civilians.
On the same night, an army control post and a police station were attacked in the southern town of Bonoua, about 60 km south- east of Abidjan.
Officially, these attacks did not lead to any deaths in the army but two assailants were killed in the Bonoua attack.
Since the month of August, several army bases have been attacked by armed individuals who the government suspects are supporters of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo.
The Cote d’Ivoire Popular Front (FPI, Gbagbo’s party) has denied being behind the attacks.
In a press statement issued on Tuesday, FPI noted that it was “deeply shocked and saddened” by the fresh attacks against the army bases in Bonoua and at the Azito power station.