The US Embassy in Cote d'Ivoire issued a demonstration alert warning of expected unrest to take place in Abidjan and other areas throughout the country starting on Monday, October 26. According to the alert, there have been calls for acts of civil disobedience, including road blockages, traffic disruptions, and potentially violent and unruly protests. The alert follows recent unrest throughout the country ahead of planned presidential elections scheduled for October 31.
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 protester 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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