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Mr. Goude has been leading rallies almost every day — including one planned for Tuesday, but which was canceled just before it was to start because of tension in Abobo. He has warned there will be no peace if Mr. Gbagbo is forced out.

“They shouldn’t kid themselves and imagine that they can come and remove him … Because in every Ivorian there is a Gbagbo,” Mr. Goude told the Associated Press in a Monday interview. “Do they want to govern an IvoryCoast cemetery?”

Already at least 25,000 civilians have already crossed the border into neighboring Liberia in anticipation of possible clashes.

Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, told reporters in Geneva that 600 more are arriving in Liberia daily and are being housed in a teeming refugee camp.

Associated Press photographer Rebecca Blackwell in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and writer Frank Jordans in Geneva contributed to this report.