Gunmen Kill I. Coast Journalist


Gunmen have killed a journalist in Ivory Coast's economic capital Abidjan, the head of the Union of the Private Press of Ivory Coast (Synapp-CI) said Tuesday, calling the murder "a bad sign".

Desire Oue, 40, the managing editor of the "Tomorrow Magazine" review, was "gunned down on Friday night at his home by unidentified armed men," Guillaume Gbatto told Agence France Presse.

"A former employee of RTI (public radio and television), he was very well known in press circles. This was a murder during the course of his duty," the union chief said.

He called Oue's death a "very bad sign" for the media and asked the authorities for "a rigorous investigation... to identify and arrest the killers".

According to the satirical biweekly "L'elephant dechaine" ("The Unleashed Elephant"), two individuals waited for Oue and killed him with a bullet in the chest. The paper said the killers took "his portable computer and other documents".

Oue was a "former militiaman" close to former president Laurent Gbagbo, who "behaved in a very negative way during the post-electoral crisis" of 2010-11, according to "", a website that supports the winner of the poll, President Alassane Ouattara. Fighting gripped Abidjan while Gbagbo refused to admit defeat.

The website said Oue was the victim of "a hold-up that went wrong", but the pro-Gbagbo newspaper "Notre Voie" described Oue's murder as a "filthy crime by pro-Ouattara militias".

Oue was the first journalist in Ivory Coast to be killed since the post-electoral crisis, which claimed about three thousand lives.

The Ivorian media, which is in part highly politicized, played a role in the standoff. Virulent invective between rival political camps via the newspapers remains relatively common.

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