Thousands of opposition party supporters demonstrate

Thousands of supporters of Ivorian opposition leader Alassane Ouattara marched across Abidjan and two of its suburbs on Monday in support of their leader's bid for official recognition of his Ivorian nationality and his right to run in the presidential elections next year.

No violence was reported in the six-kilometre route that took the
estimated 10,000 supporters through the nearby neighbourhood of Macory and finally the high density suburb of Treichville. Protesters sat across roads snarling traffic in parts of this sprawling city.

"Their aim was to hold up traffic and paralyse activities," one witness told IRIN.

Police were out in full force to ensure there was no vandalism but otherwise took no action in the government authorised march.

Ouattara, leader of the Rassemblement des Republicains (RDR), is being investigated by the state for providing false documents proving his Ivorian nationality. The government claims he is a national of Burkina Faso, therefore is ineligible to run for the presidency. Ouattara, who resigned a position form the World Bank recently to return to politics, was a one-time prime minister of Cote d'Ivoire under the late president Felix Houphouet-Boigny.