LAGOS NIGERIA WEATHER

News24.com | Clashes over presidential vote at Ivory Coast university

Yopougon municipal police officers clear debris from the road that was placed there by young demonstrators during a protest against the third term of Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara in the Yopougon of Abidjan.

Yopougon municipal police officers clear debris from the road that was placed there by young demonstrators during a protest against the third term of Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara in the Yopougon of Abidjan.

Sia Kambou, AFP

  • Two people were hurt in Ivory Coast in clashes involving opposition-aligned students from the powerful Fesci union and “handed over to police”.
  • Several students said around 50 people armed with clubs and machetes entered the Abidjan University campus in the morning, sparking brawls.
  • The clashes spread into nearby streets and were later broken up by police, who deployed tear gas.

Two people were hurt in Ivory Coast on Tuesday in clashes involving opposition-aligned students from the powerful Fesci union, an AFP journalist said, as violence persists with two weeks to go before a contentious presidential election.

Several students said around 50 people armed with clubs and machetes entered the Abidjan University campus in the morning, sparking brawls that spread into nearby streets and were later broken up by police, who deployed tear gas.

Fesci members showed AFP videos they said showed two of the intruders bearing traces of having been in a fight. One was bleeding heavily and had to be carried in a wheelbarrow, several of the videos showed.

Landry Guero, deputy secretary general of the federation, said the two had been “handed over to police”.

The violence at the University of Abidjan comes after a person was killed on Monday in Bonoua, 60 kilometres from Ivory Coast’s main city, while a total of around 20 have died in election-linked violence since August.

Abidjan students had set several vehicles on fire and political unrest had broken out in several towns.

Things were calmer on Tuesday, but some cars were set aflame in the working-class Yopougon district of Abidjan and demonstrators blocked several roads around the country.

Violence in the lead-up to the presidential vote has stirred raw memories of post-electoral clashes that killed 3 000 in 2010-11, when then-president Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept his defeat to challenger Alassane Ouattara.

“It’s true that we’re seeing some violence from one direction or another. But it’s also a bad stereotype to try and show these few violent incidents as being widespread at the national level,” government spokesperson Sidi Tiemoko Toure said Tuesday, accusing the opposition of being behind the clashes.

The regional Economic Community of West African States on Monday urged opposition parties to “seriously reconsider their decision to boycott the election, and their call on their supporters to engage in civil disobedience”.

The opposition has allowed doubts to swirl over whether it will boycott the vote, urging supporters to boycott the electoral process and campaigning, while stopping short of withdrawing its three candidacies.

Calls for a boycott came after Ouattara, who has governed for two terms, said he would stand again in defiance of a constitutional limit, saying that a 2016 reform has reset the counter.

Dozens of would-be candidates were barred from running in the election, including Gbagbo and ex-rebel chief Guillaume Soro, both of whom played key roles in the 2010-11 crisis.

Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24’s 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.

Spread the love