looting and violence with machetes in the city of Divo

Serge (pseudonym), a resident of the Bada district, saw his shop being looted by men with bladed weapons. He tells:

The protests began very early on Friday in the Konankro district. The women in this neighborhood opposed President Alassane Ouattara’s third term had started a march, in their itinerary, they had to pass in front of the Hiré station where there are many Dioula carriers. This is how individuals opposed them to prevent them from entering the station. They started throwing stones at the women.

But young people to get up went up. The demonstration escalated. Fronts have been created on the Dioula side and on the Dida side. Dioula began to attack with machetes. From Konankro, the protests affected Bada and the commercial districts, the city’s commercial center.

This is how my store was looted. I’m in household appliances. Everything has been stolen and searched. We quickly closed our stores. But during the night people came to plunder them. What could not be removed was burned.

We’re all scared. We are worried about the events.

Videos published on August 22 on social networks that have been shared hundreds of times show unbearable scenes of people being burned or killed by individuals. These scenes would also have taken place in the Konankro district. But we could not find any witnesses to the facts.

According to AFP, which cites a hospital source, at least two people died during these demonstrations in Divo, including a teenager in the fire in a bush bar.

José (pseudonym), living in Konankro, claims to have been part of the group that found the young boy’s body:

Young Dioula has joined the maquis [bar local, NDLR] which is next to the station. The kid could not defend himself. They first hit him with a machete and then burned the bush. We found his body the next day. During the night from Friday to Saturday, there were images of violence throughout the neighborhood. Stones and stones were thrown between the two communities. Hiré station was burned down. The army had to intervene to end the tensions.
It is difficult to understand how a simple march can give rise to such conflicts with machetes and clubs.

A 72-hour curfew from Friday 21 August was implemented in the city, from kl. 17 to 18.00. Protests also broke out on Saturday, August 22. in several cities in the country as Bonoua, fortress of former lady Simone Gbagbo and Gagnoa, hometown of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo.

Tensions are rising in Côte d’Ivoire as the presidential election on 31 October 2020 approaches. The Ivorian constitution limits the number of consecutive presidential terms to two. But Alassane Ouattara believes the adoption of a new constitution in 2016 will allow him to stand as a candidate, which his opponent denies.

Article written by Hermann Boko @HermannBoko