Authorities have introduced a nightly curfew in Dabou through Sunday, October 25, due to recent unrest in the city. The curfew, which is in place between 19:00 - 06:00 (local time) was introduced in response to clashes between security forces and protesters that occurred in the area on Wednesday, October 21.
Reports state that at least seven people were killed as a result of the violent clashes on Wednesday. Images showed large groups of protesters burning tires and blocking roads in the town, with clashes between police and protesters being reported throughout the day. Mayor Jean-Claude Niangne said the killings were carried out by men armed with assault rifles and machetes. 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 Riviera 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.
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.
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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