Posted November 10, 2020 9:28 am by

Six dead in Ivory Coast clashes as court validates Ouattara win

Clashes erupted as Ivory Coast’s Constitutional Council ratified the election results © AFP / Issouf SANOGO

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Nov 10 – Clashes over Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara’s re-election killed at least six people Monday as the country’s top court validated his contested third-term victory.

Ouattara, 78, won more than 94 percent of the vote, but Ivory Coast is caught in a standoff after opposition leaders boycotted the ballot and vowed to set up a rival government in protest over a mandate they see as illegal.

Around 50 people have been killed in violence since August and two opposition chiefs have been arrested, fuelling fears that Ivory Coast could slide into the kind of widespread unrest it suffered after a disputed 2010 vote.

New clashes between rival ethnic communities broke out on Monday in central eastern Daoukro, the fiefdom of opposition chief Henri Konan Bedie, officials said. Deadly violence also erupted there in the lead up to the October 31 election.

“Inter-community clashes in Daoukro left three dead and 41 wounded on Monday,” local government administrator Solange Aka told AFP.

She said one person had been decapitated and another burned as protesters barricaded roads.

Regional council president Adam Kolia Traore confirmed the toll.

Three more people were killed in central Elibou during clashes between security forces and protesters blocking a highway, local residents said. Officials did not immediately confirm those deaths however.

Six dead in Ivory Coast clashes as court validates Ouattara win

Political upheaval in Ivory Coast since the contested 2010 presidential election. © AFP / Gillian HANDYSIDE

Much of the violence has descended into fighting between local ethnic groups allied with the opposition and Dioula communities seen as close to Ouattara, himself a Muslim from the north.

The opposition had called for supporters to mobilise before Monday’s constitutional council ruling to ratify election results and validate Ouattara’s third mandate.

Constitutional Council President Mamadou Kone said Monday that the top court ratified the results and noted “no serious irregularities” in the conduct of the election.

“Alassane Ouattara is proclaimed elected in the first round,” Kone said in a statement broadcast on television.

Ivory Coast’s opposition leaders are now under investigation for insurrection and terrorism after they rejected the result and called for their rival “transitional” government.

After several tense days, Abidjan, the former French colony’s economic capital, has mostly returned to its usual bustle, though police still surrounded the home of opposition chief Bedie in the city.

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