Category Archives: Ivory Coast

SECURITY ADVISORY: Ivory Coast 4 September 2017

Posted on in Ivory Coast title_rule

  • Ninety-six inmates have escaped from a Katiola Prison.

  • A gendarmerie post in Songon has been attacked. The assailants seized a number of weapons.

Between 0500 and 0600 GMT on Sunday 3 September, 96 inmates escaped from a Katiola prison in the Ivory Coast. The inmates escaped by going through the roof of their cells to get to other cells. They then reportedly took advantage of workers who were leaving the facility, in order to break the main gate and flee.

A local judicial source says the escapees were followers of Coulibaly Yacouba. Yacouba, also known as “Yacou le Chinois” (“Yacou the Chinese”) was killed in February 2016 during an attempted jail break from Ivory Coast’s main detention centre in Abidjan. During the escape, ten people, including one guard, were killed, and a further 21 others were injured.

This is the latest in a string of prison breaks in recent weeks. On 8 August, five prisoners escaped from a jail in Gagnoa in southern Ivory Coast. The mayor in Gagnoa said four prison guards and one civilian were arrested on suspicion of aiding the prisoners in their escape. Days later, on 10 August, twenty people escaped from holding cells at the Abidjan courthouse. The escapes clashed with police. Later, seven prison officials were arrested.

Separately, at 2100 (local time) on 2 September, at least five individuals, hooded and heavily armed with AK 47 machine guns, targeted a gendarmerie station in Songon (20km of Abidjan on the road of Dabou) to steal weapons. Security forces exchanged fire with the assailants for more than 20 minutes. The assailants were able to seize several weapons, including automatic Kalashnikovs, before disappearing into the wild, according to witnesses.

GUIDANCE:

In light of the large number of escaped inmates, there is likely to be a greater security presence, including an increased number of traffic and vehicle checkpoints in the areas surrounding Katiola. Camps or offices within 30-75 kilometres should be aware of illegal trespass and be careful around security of vehicles, residences and offices.

MS Risk advises travellers and expatriates in Ivory Coast to remain vigilant throughout the country. Exercise situational awareness Katiola, and Abidijan, as well as previously affected areas including Bouake, Korhogo, Odienne, Adiake, Daloa, Bouafle, Man and San Pedro. Should a disturbance erupt near you, MS Risk advises quickly leaving the area, and if possible, returning to your accommodation or local office and remain there until the situation stabilizes. Monitor local developments and follow guidance and directives as issued by local authorities.

Ivory Coast Soldiers Agree to Deal with Government

Posted on in Ivory Coast title_rule

On Tuesday, two spokesmen for soldiers behind a mutiny that has impacted Ivory Coast in the past five days have indicated that their leaders have accepted a government proposal on bonus payments and have agreed to return to their barracks, effectively ending the five-day revolt.

While so far neither the country’s defense minister nor government spokesman have confirmed the details of the agreement, a witness in Bouake, the epicentre of the uprising and Ivory Coast’s second largest city, disclosed that soldiers had withdrawn into their bases.

Reports have emerged that some Ivory Coast soldiers who participated in the five-day mutiny received notification from their banks that bonus payments wee credited to their accounts. According to Sergeant Seydou Kone, a mutiny spokesman, “some of them are getting messages from their banks. The transfers are being made. Its 5 million CFA francs (US $8,400) that’s arrived.”

The renegade soldiers, who have paralyzed cities and towns across the country since Friday 12 May, rejected an earlier deal that was announced by Defense Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi late on Monday 15 May. Leaders of the uprising however later disclosed that the agreement had been amended overnight, with Kone confirming in Bouake that “we accept the government’s proposal…We are returning to barracks now.” According to Kone, the proposal accepted by the soldiers means that 8,400 mutineers, mostly from rebel fighters who helped President Alassane Ouattara to power, will receive an immediate bonus payment of 5 million CFA francs (US $8,400), with another 2 million CFA franc being paid at the end of next month.

Back in January, in a separate mutiny, soldiers received 5 million CFA francs (US $8,400) each in order to end that revolt, with the government struggling to pay remaining bonuses of 7 million CFA francs, after the collapse in world prices for Cocoa, which is the country’s main export, squeezed finances. This most recent uprising erupted after a delegation representing the 8,400 troops announced that it had dropped the demand for further bonuses, angering other members of the group, who aid that they had not been consulted.

Residents in towns and cities across the country affected by the latest mutiny disclosed on Tuesday that calm had largely returned. Scattered gunfire was reported overnight in the commercial capital Abidjan and the western port city of San Pedro however it had petered out by dawn. According to locals, many schools in Abidjan remained closed. The African Development Bank also told its employees to remain home. While the situation was calm in San Pedro, a cocoa exporter and an official from the cocoa marketing board, the CCC, disclosed that businesses remained closed.

For up to date incidents in Ivory Coast and West Africa, please go to https://www.d-riskalert.com

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Security Advisory (18 January 2017)

Posted on in Ivory Coast title_rule

Executive Summary

Witnesses have reported that gendarmes left their base at the port of Abidjan on 18 January, firing in the air and telling companies with offices there to close. The gendarmes then moved out of the port area and blocked a major road in the city’s Treichville neighborhood, halting traffic and resulting in residents fleeing home. There have been no reports that this incident has affected operations at the port in Abidjan, however any vessels calling at this port are advised to check ahead with port authority. In the city of Bouake, guards fired their weapons in front of the main prison in a bid to pressure the government into paying them more money. On Tuesday, at least two soldiers were killed in the capital Yamoussoukro, just hours after the government began paying bonuses to former rebels.

Security Advisory

Weeks of unrest appear to be showing no signs of easing and the violence is now apparently spreading amongst the security forces of the country. In order to prepare for civil disorder we recommend the following immediate action:

  • Have a weeks supply of life support, including fuel
  • Keep vehicles out of site in repair shops and stripped of valuables
  • Be prepared to hand over vehicles if forced
  • Keep a manifest of all staff and report daily
  • Book all staff off site and back daily
  • Do not go out before 0900 and be back by 1500 to avoid peak traffic and obvious car jacking times
  • Ensure all staff have adequate air time and have emergency numbers and control post numbers to hand
  • Establish a Duty Manager roster so that there is always a responder ready
  • Email all movements to a central point so that there is a running record
  • You should expect to see increased government forces traffic and presence if tensions increase

MS Risk continues to closely monitor the situation in Cote d’Ivoire and we will issue further bulletins as more information becomes available.

Security Advisory: Cote d’Ivoire (17 January 2017)

Posted on in Ivory Coast title_rule

Executive Summary

Reports have emerged that elite loyalist troops killed a mutinous soldier in the administrative capital Yamoussoukro on Tuesday 17 January. The soldier’s death is the first to occur since a mutiny over pay erupted in the city of Bouake on 5 January. The mutiny concluded last week after an agreement was reached between the government and soldiers, who began receiving their payments on Tuesday. However tensions have remained high and on 17 January, troops, enraged that they were excluded from the deal, took to the streets of Yamoussoukro and Bouake, firing into the air and prompting fears of further unrest.      

Security Advisory

Tensions remain high across the country and the incidents in Bouake and Yamoussoukro may spread further across the country. In order to prepare for civil disorder we recommend the following immediate action:

  • Have a weeks supply of life support, including fuel
  • Keep vehicles out of site in repair shops and stripped of valuables
  • Be prepared to hand over vehicles if forced
  • Keep a manifest of all staff and report daily
  • Book all staff off site and back daily
  • Do not go out before 0900 and be back by 1500 to avoid peak traffic and obvious car jacking times
  • Ensure all staff have adequate air time and have emergency numbers and control post numbers to hand
  • Establish a Duty Manager roster so that there is always a responder ready
  • Email all movements to a central point so that there is a running record
  • You should expect to see increased government forces traffic and presence if tensions increase

MS Risk continues to closely monitor the situation in Cote d’Ivoire and we will issue further bulletins as more information becomes available.

Security Advisory: Cote d’Ivoire (13 January 2017)

Posted on in Ivory Coast title_rule

Executive Summary

Gunfire erupted on Friday 13 January in Cote d’Ivoire’s second largest city, Bouake, ahead of talks between the Defense Minister and disgruntled soldiers who staged a two-day mutiny last week (6 – 7 January). A witness at the scene has reported that the shooting broke out near the cultural centre, where the leaders of the mutineers were due to meet with Defense Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi, during a protest by Bouake residents against the revolt. It has been reported that soldiers began firing in the air during the protest and at least 100 heavily armed mutineers then poured into the city centre aboard pickups, military transport trucks and other vehicles. So far there have been no reports of any injuries or deaths.

Security Advisory

Violence appears to have erupted again in Bouake and it may spread further across the country. In order to prepare for civil disorder we recommend the following immediate action:

  • Have a weeks supply of life support, including fuel
  • Keep vehicles out of site in repair shops and stripped of valuables
  • Be prepared to hand over vehicles if forced
  • Keep a manifest of all staff and report daily
  • Book all staff off site and back daily
  • Do not go out before 0900 and be back by 1500 to avoid peak traffic and obvious car jacking times
  • Ensure all staff have adequate air time and have emergency numbers and control post numbers to hand
  • Establish a Duty Manager roster so that there is always a responder ready
  • Email all movements to a central point so that there is a running record
  • You should expect to see increased government forces traffic and presence if tensions increase

MS Risk continues to closely monitor the situation in Cote d’Ivoire and we will issue further bulletins as more information becomes available.