ABIDJAN – An Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ministerial Mission on preventive diplomacy that visited the republic of Cote d’Ivoire as part of efforts by the regional body on promoting an inclusive, credible transparent and peaceful has failed to bring the ongoing electoral crisis in that country to an end.

After a meeting with all the stakeholders in the Ivorian electoral process including President Alassane Ouattara, a communique issued on Monday and signed by H.E. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey Ghana’s Foreign Minister and chairperson of the ECOWAS council of Ministers strongly condemned the recent acts of violence and further urged the parties to exercise maximum restraint. 

It called on the Democratic Party of the Ivory Coast (PDCI) led by former president Henri Conan Bedie and the Ivorian Popular front (FPI) led by Pascal Affi N’Guessan to reconsider their decision to boycott the election and the call on their supporters to embark on civil disobedience.

 In conclusion, the mission assured the Ivorian authorities and stakeholders of the continued support of ECOWAS in accompanying the electoral process in ensuring the maintenance of peace and stability in that country.

This is was a follow-up to an earlier joint mission of ECOWAS, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) from 4th -7th October 2020.

Meanwhile, Sporadic clashes have been reported in several cities in the Ivory Coast. One person was killed Monday, October 19 in the town of Bonoua, the home town of Simone Gbagbo. 

In Abidjan and in several localities of the country, groups of opposition activists responded to the slogan of their leaders calling for civil disobedience and active boycott, to protest against the candidacy of outgoing President Alassane Ouattara for the presidential election on October 31.

In the morning, at the roundabout in the Riviera 2 district of the municipality of Cocody d’Abidjan, several young people installed tires and barricades on the tracks. 

A car was set on fire and a bus emptied of its passengers before protesters set it on fire, abandoning its totally charred carcass.

The carcass of a charred bus burned during clashes in Abidjan, October 19, 2020. REUTERS / Luc Gnago

The police intervened and very quickly pushed the militants back to the neighboring district of Anono. 

A game of cat and mouse that took place part of the morning. 

Caught between the demolition of the demonstrators and the tear gas from the dressed bodies, the residents had no other choice but to take refuge in their homes and the traders to close shop.

Fifty kilometers further east, in Bonoua, the stronghold of former First Lady Simone Gbagbo who already recorded deaths last August, significantly more violent clashes left one dead and several injured.

These clashes took place when the powerful Student and School Federation of Côte d’Ivoire went on strike to demand the removal of additional registration fees and the rehabilitation of 20,000 suspected baccalaureate fraudsters. Africa6News