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Cote d’Ivoire: Deadly Violence As Ouattara Gears Up to Claim Third Mandate

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At least two people have been killed during inter-ethnic violence which broke out on Saturday northwest of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. This comes on the heels of the nomination of President Alassane Ouattara to run as the candidate for the ruling RHDP party, for a third term in office.

Clashes occurred in the town on Divo, some 200 kilometres northwest of Abidjan and at least two people were killed, according to hospital sources.

Doctors reported that one man died on Sunday morning from wounds sustained during the clashes, while a second man died in a fire in a bar on Saturday evening, according to witnesses.

Hospital staff also reported that several people had serious injuries from machettes.

On Saturday, Côte d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara was officially chosen as the candidate to represent the ruling RHDP party in the 31 October elections.

Thousands of supporters waving banners and flags turned out for his nomination at the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny stadium in Abidjan.

Ouattara began with a minute of silence in honour of his colleague and former prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, chosen as his successor, but who died suddenly on 8 July.

Rivals Gbagbo and Soro struck off the list

Violent and sometimes deadly protests have spread across the country since 6 August when Ouattara decided to run in the election, going back on his initial promise.

His choice to run for a third mandate has been deemed unconstitutional by the opposition.

Further adding to the tensions, the country’s election authorities on Friday rejected appeals by Côte d’Ivoire’s former president Laurent Gbagbo and former rebel leader Guillaume Soro to be allowed to run in the October election.

One of the world’s biggest producers of coffee and cocoa, Cote d’Ivoire is still traumatised by the post-electoral violence after the 2010 vote, when Gbagbo refused to cede to the victor, Ouattara.

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