Clashes Between Opposing Ethnic Groups

Oct 20, 2020

On 16-17 October 2020, clashes broke out between opposing ethnic groups ahead of the presidential election, which is slated to occur on 31 October. In Bongouanou, a stronghold for opposition candidate and former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan, the local Agni ethnic group clashed with individuals from the Dioula group, a pro-government ethnic group from northern Côte d’Ivoire. Meanwhile, several residences and shops were looted and set on fire. At least two individuals were killed in the clashes, including one from each group.

Analyst Comment: Approximately 15 people were killed during similar intercommunal conflicts during August and September. Clashes began after incumbent President Alassane Ouattara announced his bid for a third term in the upcoming election, despite a constitutional two-term limit. Many prospective candidates were barred from contesting the election, and two opposition candidates — who had obtained approval to participate in the election — have since called on their supporters to boycott the election. Meanwhile, opposition leaders have continued to call for “civil disobedience” to protest Ouattara’s candidacy.

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