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23 Dec 2019 | 07:23 PM UTC

Côte d'Ivoire: Government issues arrest warrant for presidential candidate Guillaume Soro December 23 /update 1

Presidential candidate Guillaume Soro abandons his scheduled return to Abidjan on December 23, following government-issued arrest warrant; heightened security presence and protests anticipated

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CIV

Event

State prosecutor, Richard Adou, announced on Monday, December 23, that government officials had issued an arrest warrant for presidential candidate and leader of the newly-formed Generations and Peoples Solidarity (GPS) party, Guillaume Soro. The former prime minister was due to return to return to Côte d'Ivoire on Monday, December 23, ahead of the October 2020 presidential elections. His private plane was rerouted to Accra instead.

Security forces stormed the GPS headquarters, near the US Embassy in Abidjan, and arrested approximately 15 of Soro's supporters. Police officers used tear gas to disperse protesters who had gathered at the headquarters. 

Further protests and clashes are possible in the near term; a heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are expected in the vicinity of any demonstration.

Advice

Individuals in Abidjan are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.