Political opposition supporters clashed with security forces on Tuesday, October 27, in the regional opposition stronghold of Daoukro, days before the country's presidential election. According to local reports, makeshift barricades were erected on roads surrounding the city, leading to widespread overland disruption. Upon clearing the obstructions, police and military personnel were involved in scuffles with protesters, who responded by throwing stones and other objects. Calm in the area had been restored by the afternoon and no details of casualties were immediately available.
Heightened security measures should be anticipated in the vicinity of any demonstrations, 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 protesters and security forces are also likely.
President Alassane Ouattara has announced 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.
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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