The president of the opposition Coalition for Change (CNC) Samba David was seriously injured on Sunday, September 13, in an attack by unidentified assailants at his office in the Yopougon district of Abidjan. The opposition leader and civil society activist is reported to have been stabbed when four individuals burst into the office in the Port Bouet 2 area of the suburb at around 20:00 (local time). Some unconfirmed reports suggest that he is currently in a critical condition in hospital.
The motive behind the attack is currently unclear. However, Samba David and the CNC have recently called for protests against President Alassane Ouattara's candidacy in the country's upcoming presidential elections.
Investigations into Sunday's attack are currently ongoing. There is a realistic possibility of opposition-led demonstrations over the incident in the near term.
President Alassane 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 would-be 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 multiple opposition and civil society groups. Unrest linked to the issue has resulted in several fatalities and dozens of arrests in recent weeks.
Those in Cote d'Ivoire are advised to monitor developments and remain apprised of the political situation in the country. Travelers should avoid all public demonstrations and political gatherings as a precaution, avoid discussing sensitive political topics in public, and heed all instructions issued by local authorities.
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