Africa

Ivory Coast: Laurent Gbagbo bans UN radio broadcasts

UN peacekeepers in Ivory Coast
Image caption Alassane Ouattara remains blockaded in a hotel in Abidjan protected by UN peacekeepers

The government of Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo has officially banned UN radio broadcasts.

Mr Gbagbo has refused to stand down following polls in November, which the UN peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast say was won by Alassane Ouattara.

The BBC's John James says the UN's FM frequency has already been jammed since the beginning of the crisis, but it has been using unofficial frequencies.

He says it is the most widely listened to radio station in the country.

Access to the international media has been severely curtailed since the disputed election results came out.

It was announced on state television on Wednesday evening that the frequencies assigned to UN peacekeeping mission had been withdrawn.

Our reporter in the main city of Abidjan said UN radio could still be heard on an unofficial 95.3 FM frequency on Thursday morning.

Mr Gbagbo still has control of the state television - Radio Television Ivorienne (RTI) - a terrestrial broadcaster.

TV Cote d'Ivoire, another terrestrial station, has recently been set up by Mr Ouattara's camp and can be seen in Abidjan.

Mr Ouattara remains blockaded in a hotel in Abidjan, protected by UN peacekeepers and former rebels who still control northern areas.

November's presidential vote was supposed to reunify the country, which has been divided between north and south since a conflict in 2002.

Last month, the UN Security Council approved an additional 2,000 peacekeepers for Ivory Coast to bolster its 9,800-strong UN contingent.

Mr Gbagbo accuses the UN and the international community of being biased against him.

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