Two people have been killed and three others wounded in a series of clashes between military forces and local people in southeastern Ivory Coast, the government says. A cabinet statement said on Wednesday that the clashes broke out in the village of Affery near the town of Akoupe on February 17. Reports said that those killed in the clashes were local people. A source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Affery residents -- mostly supporters of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo -- have been regularly forced by troops from the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast (FRCI) to hand over their money and goods.
Government says it plans to replace the troopers with police forces in the area to calm the situation.Gbagbo is now in custody in The Hague where he was charged with war crimes. Gbagbo’s hearings, which began on Tuesday at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, will last over a week, with the former president expected to speak on the final day, February 28. Prosecutors say his forces killed between 706 and 1,059 people and raped more than 35 women between November 28, 2010 and May 8, 2011, the charges he denies. DB/AS