Violent protests have been reported in the Yopougon area of Abidjan on Monday, September 14. Anti-government protesters have reportedly blocked roads and damaged property in the Palais and Sideci areas of the capital. Bus services in the area are suspended after a vehicle was burnt out in the early hours of the morning. Clashes between protesters and law enforcement officers have been reported in the area, with police cordoning off streets and firing tear gas to disperse the crowd.
A heightened security presence and localized overland disruption are to be expected in the vicinity of the protest in the near term. Further protests are likely in the capital and throughout Côte d'Ivoire over the coming days, and these could lead to further clashes between demonstrators and security forces.
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 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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