French camp sheltering 1,650 foreigners I.Coast's Abidjan

3rd April 2011, Comments 0 comments

More than 1,650 foreigners, about half of them French, were sheltered at the French military camp in Abidjan Sunday after heavy fighting between rival presidents in the city, the French force Licorne said.

"There are 1,653 foreign citizens, of whom about half are French, more than 50 Europeans and four Americans. The others are of other nationalities," said Licorne spokesman Commander Frederic Daguillon.

On Saturday night there were 1,564 foreigners in the camp.

They are under the protection of Licorne, whose main mission is to provide support for the UN peacekeeping mission UNOCI and ensure the safety of French and other foreigners in times of crisis.

The force's numbers were on Sunday bolstered to 1,400 soldiers, with the arrival of another 300 men.

Daguillon said evacuation was not yet planned.

There are some 12,200 French living in the country, 11,800 in Abidjan. The largest foreign community is Lebanese, numbering 80,000 citizens.

© 2011 AFP

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