Situation in Ivory Coast: Paris gets involved

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“It is important, to avoid abuses and violence, that President Ouattara takes the necessary initiatives so that serenity returns and that national unity is at the rendezvous”, declared the head of French diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian, on the BFM and RMC television channels. “I know he intends, I hope he does it quickly,” he said. Thus, after having observed a certain discretion in the Ivorian file, France makes its voice heard. Paris had remained very silent since the announcement of Alassane Ouattara, 78, to stand for a third term, going back on his initial commitment not to do so, greeted at the time by President Emmanuel Macron. France, which “took note” of the election results, however this week called on the protagonists of the crisis to put an end to “provocations and acts of intimidation” and asked for the resumption of political dialogue.

The context to unravel

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Where are we with the Ivorian crisis? Mr. Alassane Ouattara was re-elected for a third term following an election on October 31, boycotted by the opposition which denounces a constitutional coup, and in a climate of violence. Since August 10, after the announcement of his candidacy, 85 people have been killed and 484 injured in the political unrest which has often degenerated into intercommunal clashes, according to official figures.

Several opposition leaders, including former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan, his spokesperson, were arrested, while others were blocked at their homes by the police. In an attempt at appeasement, Alassane Ouattara met his main opponent, former President Henri Konan Bédié, on Wednesday in Abidjan. The two men “broke the ice” and promised to meet again to ease the tension and break the deadlock.

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