Ivory Coast Awaits Abidjan Showdown
Armed militia loyal to incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo patrol the streets of Abidjan.
They are engaged in a deadly standoff with fighters supporting presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara.
Hundreds of his troops are gathered on the outskirts of Ivory Coast's main city, ready to launch a "final assault" to unseat Gbagbo.
Although pro-Ouattara forces took much of the country without trouble, they have met fierce resistance in Abidjan where Gbagbo's troops are holding on to positions around the presidential palace, Gbagbo's residence and state television.
The embattled president refused to cede power after he lost the November 28th election to Ouattara.
State TV broadcast Gbagbo meeting members of his loyal forces as a fierce battle for power raged on in the streets on Sunday.
Worried residents still in the city on Monday used a lull in the fighting to search for water and supplies.
More than 1,500 people have been killed since the violence began five months ago.
Millions have left the country, taking refuge in neighboring countries like Togo.
But the mass exodus over the last month has left aid agencies struggling to cope.
[Jean Guillaume Bosse, Ivorian Refugee]:
"It's ok for us men, but for women who now have to sleep outside, and who don't have a roof over their heads, it's really pitiful, really pathetic. We as Ivorian refugees, we didn't ask for this to happen to our country. It may be that our country is going through another chapter in its history, but what is happening to our country is horrible."
Ivory Coast's army closed its borders and blocked foreign media over the weekend, trapping more Ivorians trying to flee.