Many people in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s largest city, had no access to state television today after a transmitter was damaged in fighting between forces loyal to incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and rival groups. RTI state television in the world’s top cocoa grower has backed Gbagbo in a three-month struggle for power with Alassane Ouattara after a 28 November presidential election which UN-certified results showed Ouattara won.
“The clashes took place around the transmitter … this morning you can see smoke coming out of the transmitter centre,” said local resident Doulaye Ouattara (Eds: no relation), adding that some youths had pillaged the premises. RTI television was not accessible by terrestrial aerials in a number of Abidjan neighbourhoods, residents contacted by Reuters said. An RTI journalist who did not want to be named said technicians were working to repair the transmitter.
Estimates for the size of Abidjan’s population range from between three to five million out of a total population of 21 million. Some have access to RTI on satellite.