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09 Nov 2020 | 12:27 PM UTC

Cote d'Ivoire: Security forces clash with protesters in Ellibou (Sikensi department) November 9 /update 12

Security forces clash with protesters in Ellibou (Sikensi department) on November 9 resulting in three fatalities; further unrest possible

security
transportation
CIV

Event

Clashes between protesters and police during election-related unrest in Ellibou (Sikensi department) resulted in the deaths of at least three demonstrators on Monday, November 9. Demonstrators reportedly set up barricades on the Abidjan-Yassoukro road, in addition to a number of main travel routes in the area following calls by the country's opposition to stage marches against the result of the October 31 election. Police allegedly used live ammunition and tear gas during subsequent crowd dispersal operations, during which the fatalities occurred. 

This development comes following reports of violent election-related unrest in Abidjan's Anono and Yopougon areas on Monday, during which police fired tear gas to disperse crowds. 

Heightened security measures should be anticipated in the vicinity of any demonstrations, particularly as a ban on gatherings remains in place amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions. Further election-related unrest with disruptions to transportation and business likely.

Context

President Alassane Ouattara 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.

After opposition groups boycotted the election on October 31, Ouattara was confirmed as having won a third term on November 3 with 94.27 percent of the vote on a 53.9 percent turnout. However, the result was rejected by the two main opposition candidates, Pascal Affi N'Guessan and Henri Konan Bédié, who announced the formation of a joint National Transitional Council (NTC) to prepare for fresh elections.

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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