Anti- and pro-government demonstrators clashed in Divo, Gagnoa (both Gôh-Djiboua district), and Bonoua (Comoé district) on Saturday, August 22. In Divo, clashes reportedly resulted in casualties, and several buildings were set on fire and looted amid the unrest. Additional security personnel were deployed to Divo as a result. In Bonoua, multiple shops were reportedly set ablaze as opposing youths clashed. Similar incidents were reported in Gagnoa on Saturday. A curfew from 20:00 to 05:00 (local time) is in effect in Gagnoa, and in Bonoua. The curfew in Bonoua is in place until Thursday, August 27. Authorities have also imposed an indefinite curfew in Daoukro between 19:00 and 06:00.
Separately on Saturday, President Alassane Ouattara addressed supporters who had gathered at the Félix Houphouët-Boigny stadium in Abidjan. Ouattara, who is seeking a third term as president, was nominated as a candidate for the upcoming elections in October. The rally passed off peacefully.
Further unrest is likely across Côte d'Ivoire over the coming days and in the lead up to the elections. A heightened security presence is likely, along with disruptions to overland travel.
Ouattara announced on August 7, that he would be standing for a third term in presidential elections scheduled to be held on October 31. The president had been expected to stand down at the end of his current term, but the sudden death of his expected successor, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, on July 8 left the ruling RHDP coalition with no clear candidate going into the polls. However, Ouattara's decision to stand again has been opposed by the opposition and civil society groups. Unrest linked to the issue has resulted in six fatalities, over 100 injuries, and 69 arrests.
Those in Côte d'Ivoire are advised to monitor developments and remain apprised of the political situation, avoid all public demonstrations and political gatherings as a precaution, avoid discussing sensitive political topics in public, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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