UN Senior Mediation Advisor worried as Ivory Coast heads for the polls

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UN Senior Mediation Advisor Emmanuel Bombande is doubtful Côte d’Ivoire will hold a peaceful election on Saturday, October 31.

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He told JoyNews’ AM Show Friday, that looking at the tension brewing amongst the presidential candidates ahead of the election, there is likelihood violence could erupt.

According to him, the country will emerge even more divided after the elections, which could in turn affect the member states of the Economic Community of West African States.

“For us, the implications are huge; keep in mind we are talking about the third largest economy in West Africa. It is very interesting to see and observe what is happening, because as you rightly described the position of the opposition party, their attitude is to go full out in a civil disobedient posture.

“And you never know how that violence could erupt. The situation is so tensed, that you can never predict the extent to which the violence cumulatively which now begins to slowball and roll over,” he said.

The Ivory Coast President, Alassane Dramane Ouattara has forced through a constitutional reform so he could run again after he had done two terms.

His action has been met with widespread protests as citizens frown on his decision.

This has, therefore, heightened the fears of many in the country as they think the country may slide back into the slump of 2010 war which left over 3,000 dead.

Already, a report by JoyNews’ Justice Baidoo reveals that more than 80 persons have migrated from Ivory Coast to Ghana using unapproved routes since August.

The Ghana Refugee Board (GRB) says it is aware of tensions in Ivory Coast and fears many may want to come to Ghana.

“We are aware of the situation but we know that the borders are closed because of Covid-19 so we are still monitoring the situation,” says Tetteh Paddy who speaks for the GRB.

He is now in Belgium after his acquittal by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity. Many believe his absence reduces the appetite for violence.

President Ouattara is tipped to win the election. His three contenders, including 86 year old ex-President Henri Konan Bédié, have all said they will not accept such a result.

Source:myjoyonline.com

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