As of approximately 15:00 (local time) on Monday, October 15, "hundreds" of protesters have reportedly descended on Grand-Bassam and set fire to huts after officials published election results earlier in the day. Security forces previously deployed to the area on October 14 and used teargas to disperse political demonstrators. Additional violent demonstrations and clashes between protesters and security forces are possible in Grand-Bassam over the coming days as tensions are expected to continue in the near-term. Further unrest is possible in other Ivorian cities in the coming days.
Violence erupted during municipal and regional elections that were held nationwide on Saturday, October 13, to choose city and regional counselors. In the Plateau district of Abidjan, clashes erupted in front of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), prompting security forces to disperse the crowd with tear gas. In Abidjan's Marcory district, clashes erupted between youths and security forces. Protests also erupted on Sunday evening (local time) in the Plateau district to denounce alleged fraud.
Tensions were also high in provincial cities. The CEI building in Diabo (center) was reportedly ransacked by youths denouncing electoral fraud. In Tiébissou (center), youths reportedly erected roadblocks. One person was killed In Lakota (south) and two were killed in Séguela (center) amid clashes between supporters. In Divo and Bonoua (south), violence erupted between rival supporters. The results for these elections, for which voter turnout was reportedly low, should be released on Monday. Further violence is possible following the release.
Political tensions are currently elevated in the country as the elections follow the recent "divorce" between the Parti démocratique de Côte d'Ivoire (PDCI) and the Rassemblement des Républicains (RDR) parties, who had both been allied under the ruling Rassemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la Démocratie et la Paix (RHDP) coalition. On August 9, the PDCI decided to put an end to the alliance after the RDR proposed to transform the coalition into a unified political party.
As a precautionary measure, individuals present in Côte d'Ivoire are advised to monitor local media, avoid all protests and demonstrations (as they could turn violent), and refrain from discussing domestic political issues in public.
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