Tensions mount as Ivory Coast readies for polls

Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara

from ALEXIS DOUMBIA in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
ABIDJAN, (CAJ News) THE United Nations (UN) regional envoy has begun a tour of Ivory Coast amid political temperatures rising ahead of elections scheduled for the end of October.

Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, began his visit of Monday.

He was scheduled to meet President Alassane Ouattara and hold a series of meetings with members of the government, political actors, representatives of civil society, representatives of the diplomatic corps, as well as the UN country team.

This visit falls within the framework of UN support for the organization of credible presidential elections.

However, at the opening of the 45th session of the Human Rights Council last Monday, the head of human rights of the UN, Michelle Bachelet, was concerned about the volatile situation in Ivory Coast.

She said the electoral process had started in a tense political climate and against the background of pre-existing triggers of violence.

Bachelet noted an increase in hate speech on social media.

Ivory Coast, the world’s largest exporter of cocoa beans, has a history of contentious elections.

The worst was in 2010 when Ouattara and strongman Laurent Gbagbo, were neck-on-neck in the polls.

The standoff triggered a second civil war that left hundreds of people dead.

– CAJ News

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