News Alerts

21 Oct 2020 | 05:25 PM UTC

Cote d'Ivoire: Multiple protesters killed amid unrest in Dabou October 21 /update 2

Côte d'Ivoire News Alert

Multiple protesters killed during protests in Dabou on October 21; avoid all demonstrations

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/21/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/23/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Abidjan). COUNTRY/REGION Abidjan, Bonoua, Ivory Coast, Dabou

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Event

Reports state that at least seven people were killed as a result of violent clashes between protesters and police in Dabou on Wednesday, October 21. Images show large groups of protesters burning tires and blocking roads in the town, with clashes between police and protesters being reported throughout the day. Clashes have taken place throughout the country in recent days amid demonstrations against the possible third term that incumbent President Alassane Ouattara is seeking in an upcoming election.

On Monday, October 19, security forces killed at least one person whilst dispersing protesters with live fire in Bonoua (Grand-Bassam department). A number of others were injured during the operations which occurred after protesters blocked roads and damaged property. On the same day, unrest was also reported in Abidjan where the US Embassy has warned that barricades have been erected on Boulevard de France between the Embassy and Jacques Prévert. Roadblocks were also erected on Rue de Ambassade in Anono. Demonstrators also set fire to a number of vehicles in the Rivera 2 district and blocked roads across the Cocody area. The unrest coincided with an announcement by the Student and Scholastic Federation of Cote d'Ivoire (FESCI) of strike action over the next 72 hours.

Heightened security measures should be anticipated in the vicinity of the protests, particularly as the ban on gatherings remains in place amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions. Localized disruptions are likely to continue and further demonstrations are possible in the near term. Further violence between protester and security forces are also likely.

Context

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 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 several fatalities and dozens of arrests.

Advice

Those in Cote 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 or on social media, and heed all instructions issued by the local authorities.

 

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