U.N. bills Ivory Coast for riot damage

Feb. 11, 2006 at 2:23 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The United Nations billed Ivory Coast $3.5 million for damage to the U.N. headquarters in Abidjan and other offices in the country during riots last month.

Supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo attacked U.N. offices in a protest against the international organization's activities in the West African country. Gbagbo has accused the United Nations of interference in internal matters.

The riots followed a U.N. call for the dissolution of the Ivory Coast parliament.

In a letter to the president, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said that Ivoirian security forces did not protect U.N. property from the rioters, the BBC reported.

"These events have also had a negative impact on the peace process," Annan told the president.

Ivory Coast is split between Gbagbo's government and rebel forces.

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