Côte d'Ivoire: Violent Repression of Street Protests

This post is part of our special coverage Côte d'Ivoire Unrest 2011.

After a little rest in coverage, the international media is once again looking to Côte d'Ivoire. The last five days have seen the country experience further violence and increased radicalisation of Ivorian netizens’ speeches.

On February 19, 2011, a peaceful “revolution” [fr], so-called by Guillaume Soro – prime minister of internationally recognised President Alassane Ouattara – was organised at several locations in the country. Ouattara claims to have won the 2010 election against Laurent Gbagbo, president since 2000, and as such has declared himself to be the legitimate president of Côte d'Ivoire.

Demonstrators Killed

The protests were violently repressed in Abobo, a pro-Ouattara district of Ivorian economic capital Abidjan, leaving at least 3 people killed [fr].

The following video shows tanks belonging to the United Nations Organisation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) protecting Ouattara supporters protesting against Gbagbo:

Tchélé Kobres shot and posted the following video on the Facebook group ‘Observatoire démocratique en Côte d'Ivoire‘ [fr]; the group is described as a free forum to exchange on democratic progess in Côte d'Ivoire and counts more than 2,000 members.

The video shows a darkly dressed man shooting on unarmed demonstrators on Saturday February 19, 2011:

On February 21, 2011, the day that the protests were referred to as an “Egyptian-like Revolution” by Guillame Soro, seven people [fr] were reportedly killed among Ouattara's supporters.

Ivorian netizens shared videos showing dead demonstrators. This video (WARNING: GRAPHIC) posted by mdosso4002 on Youtube, shows the dead bodies of pro-Ouattara protestors killed in Koumassi, Abidjan, by rockets fired by Gbagbo's Force of Defense and Security (FDS).

The citizen shooting the video comments:

Le sang n'est pas versé pour rien Gbagbo

Blood has not been shed for nothing Gbagbo

The Twitter hashtag #civ2010 has become increasingly radicalised in the wake of the protests, with tweets becoming more and more violent:

Koudou [Laurent Gbagbo] and his stinky underpants, Simone [Gbagbo] and her stinky XXL thong will respectively have their underwear taken off and be sodomised

Other Twitter users tried to temper the situation:

The feed #civ2010 is also a reflection of Côte d'Ivoire on the web. Insults also bring disgrace to those who use them.

Another Twitter user encourages people living in Abobo, a pro-Ouattara district of Abidjan, to continue the struggle:

Hold on Abobo! the battle is not over yet.

A rumour that has not been confirmed says that pro-Ouattara citizens living in Abobo organised a vendetta against the FDS:

Confirmation by a resident: at least 40 FDS dead bodies here. Corpses without heads!

In the meantime, the hashtag #civ2010 was a top trending topic for Twitter France, according to Twirus:

This post is part of our special coverage Côte d'Ivoire Unrest 2011.


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