Popular
(Photo by Christian Marquardt - Pool/Getty Images)

President of the Ivory Coast Alassane Ouattara claims that the global COVID-19 pandemic and the socioeconomic crisis it generated in the country has motivated his decision to run for a third term.

Deadly Clashes Between Protesters and Police Erupt in Ivory Coast Following President Ouattara’s Decision to Run For Third Term

Ivory Coast President Alssane Ouattara's announcement to run for a third term has seen several citizens killed in clashes between protesters and security forces.

Four civilians have reportedly died in demonstrations that have seen President Alassane Ouattara's supporters clashing with security forces. An 18 year-old reportedly died in a violent demonstration in the southeastern town of Bonoua, 50km from the economic hub, Abidjan.

Demonstrations by youth oppose Ouattara's re-election campaign stating that his presidential bid is unconstitutional. Ivory Coast's Constitution prohibits Outtara's run for president, but he contests that this law was only approved in 2016 in the middle of his second presidential term and therefore is not applicable.


Read:Spotlight: 'Weaving Generations' Confronts Environmental Destruction in Côte d'Ivoire

A week ago Al Jazeera released a video of President Alassane Ouattara's public announcement that he would run for president in the country's national elections in October. The announcement, made on Ivory Coast's Independence day, was of great concern considering Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly had just died, reportedly of a heart attack. Ouattara had made no indication of running for presidential candidacy again before the death.

Ouattara was elected through a highly contested political coalition in 2010 and again in 2015 during heightened civil unrest. Disgruntled youth have been calling for a more representative government and Ouattara made promises in March this year, stating that "it is time to hand over to a new generation".

Ivory Coast's youth population is mostly under 19 years of age. Young people have increasingly voiced their frustration with the government and feared that 78-year-old Ouattara's decision was a dangerous turn that would destabilise Ivory Coast's progress.

Burning tyres and barricades currently fill the streets. Police attack youth with teargas and chase them away with guns.

In 2019, growing attacks against political opposition members and activists were recorded by Amnesty International, condemning Ouattara's government for contravening universal rights of freedom of association and freedom of expression. The government announced a ban on protests earlier in the week in an effort to quiet demonstrations in forthcoming elections.

Ouattara claims that the global COVID-19 pandemic and the socioeconomic crisis it generated in the country has motivated his decision to run for a third term.

News Brief
Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images

Sudan Declares State of Emergency, As Military Dissolves Transitional Government

As the North African country edged closer to democracy, Sudan's military has seized power.

Sudan's military has seized power over the North African country, arresting multiple civilian leaders, including the current Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The power-sharing, unstable coalition, called the Sovereign Council, was created as a transitional government after the fall of dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019, in an attempt to move towards a democratic Sudan.

The Sudanese public has been split in recent weeks as groups protested for a military-run state, while others pushed for a civilian lead, democratic nation. Last week, the Prime Minister vocalized his plans towards a full transition to civilian rule, and his plans to have that body in place by November 17, echoing the voices of thousands of Sudanese demonstrators who showed up in hoards to demand that the promise of Sudan's pro-democracy movement be honored. But on Monday the PM and multiple government ministers and officials were placed under arrest, resulting in Sudan's top general's declaring State of Emergency.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said in a televised statement, "To rectify the revolution's course, we have decided to declare a state of emergency nationwide… dissolve the transitional sovereign council, and dissolve the cabinet." His statement came as soldiers fired live rounds at anti-military protestors, outside of the army headquarters in the capital.

Internet services were cut across the country around dawn and the main roads and bridges into Khartoum shut, before soldiers stormed the headquarters of Sudan's state broadcaster in the capital's twin city of Omdurman, the ministry said. After months of rising tensions in the country, army and paramilitary troops have been deployed across the capital city, Khartoum, with the airports and internet access being shut down. As a result of the coup, hundreds of protestors have taken to the streets, demanding the return of a civilian ruled and the transitional government, the BBC reports.

Demonstrators have spread to a number of Sudanese cities including Atbara, Wad Madani, and Port Sudan, and more are expected to attend the call for action. "We will not leave the streets until the civilian government is back and the transition is back," protest attendee Sawsan Bashir told AFP. While demonstrator Haitham Mohamed says, "We are ready to give our lives for the democratic transition in Sudan."


get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.