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10 Nov 2020 | 07:02 AM UTC

Cote d'Ivoire: Authorities impose curfew in Daoukro (Lacs department) following fatal unrest November 9 /update 13

Authorities impose 19:00 - 06:00 curfew in Daoukro (Lacs department) following fatal unrest on November 9; further unrest possible, abide by authority directives

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Event

Authorities in Daoukro (Lacs district) implemented a 19:00 - 06:00 (local time) curfew until further notice following fatal violence on Monday, November 9, whereby six people were killed and around 50 others injured in violent protests linked to the October 31 presidential elections. Clashes between the security forces and opposition activists took place, as well as communal violence involving rival groups. Although the violence has since subsided, tensions remain high, and renewed unrest is to be anticipated.

Deaths resulting from clashes between protesters and police during election-related unrest were also reported in Ellibou (Sikensi department) on Monday. Demonstrators reportedly set up barricades on the Abidjan-Yassoukro road, in addition to a number of main travel routes in the area. Police allegedly used live ammunition and tear gas during subsequent crowd dispersal operations, during which the fatalities occurred. 

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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