Deadly violence erupts in Ivory Coast after Ouattara’s third-term bid

President Alassane Ouattara’s decision to contest a third term has triggered outrage among opposition and civil society groups. Issouf SANOGO AFP/File

At least two people were killed in ethnic clashes in Ivory Coast following President Alassane Ouattara’s controversial announcement he would run for a third term, a hospital source and local residents said Sunday.

Young opposition supporters on Saturday took to the streets to voice loud and violent protest in several major cities, especially the southern cocoa growing hub of Divo, after Ouattara accepted his party’s nomination for the October poll.

“One person evacuated to the regional hospital succumbed to their injuries and died this morning,” said a hospital source in Divo, adding that “several were badly wounded with machetes”.

Several local people also said they had seen the body of a teenager killed in a fire in a local bar.

Ouattara was officially anointed as candidate by his ruling RHDP despite having already served two terms — the maximum permitted under the constitution — since 2010.

He had planned to hand the reins to Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, but his presumed successor died of a heart attack in July.

Six people had already died in violence following Ouattara’s August 6 announcement that he would run again, while 100 were hurt.

The president and his supporters say a 2016 constitutional tweak has reset the clock on the two-term limit.

“Going back on my decision was not easy” but “there is nothing preventing me from standing,” Ouattara said Saturday.

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About Cholo Brooks 14907 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.