Côte d’Ivoire: Ban of public demonstrations until September 15

Demonstrations on public roads are suspended until September 15. The announcement was made in the Council of Ministers on Wednesday August 19, two months before the presidential election.

The ban is the consequence of the deadly violence that marred ome demonstrations last week. It was made under the state of emergency in force in Côte d’Ivoire since the beginning of the pandemic.

Demonstrations on the public highway are suspended until mid-September and will only be allowed in closed or dedicated secure areas. This suspension is presented as a consequence of last week’s demonstrations, which sometimes resulted in violent outbursts.

This decision comes at a time when Alassane Ouattara is due to receive the RHDP nomination on Saturday at the Felix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, but also at a time when women’s movements from opposition parties were calling for a demonstration in Cocody this Friday.

The official assessment of the violence that marred last week’s anti-3rd mandate demonstrations in several cities has been revised upwards: 6 dead, 173 injured and 69 arrests.

Among those arrested some political figures such as the deputy president of GPS (Guillaume Soro’s party) Anne-Marie Bonifon, or the activist Pulcherie Gbalet are still behind bars.

On Tuesday, Amnesty International called for the release of those arrested for expressing their political views and accused the police of collaborating with groups of armed men deployed to violently disperse the protests.

AI said according to exclusive testimony it obtained, police officers in Abidjan apparently allowed groups of men, some of whom were armed with machetes and heavy sticks, to attack protesters demonstrating against President Alassane Ouattara’s decision to run for a third term in office.

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