Ivorian Blogger Questions Government's Response to Abidjan Stampede

Ivorian bloggers Mohamed Diaby and Cyriac Gbogou have been released from police custody. Both citizens, helped create a humanitarian platform to assist victims of the January 1, 2013 stampede in Abidjan. But on January 4, 2013, they were arrested after being accused of interfering with official disaster assistance efforts. Mohamed Diaby  wrote about the events that led to their arrests on his personal blog [fr]. Diaby's testimony highlights the deficiency [fr] of Côte d'Ivoire's public services:

Qui était censé mettre en oeuvre le dispositif sécuritaire pour cette soirée ? Qui a pris le temps de créer les couloirs de dégagement nécessaires ? Y a-t’il eu anticipation sur les flux naturels de circulation des populations après les feux d’artifice ? Si déploiement massif des forces de sécurité il y a eu, quels sont les éléments affectés à la tâche et quel a été leur rôle avant, pendant et après les évènements ? Pourquoi le dispositif mis en place la veille qui a garanti une sécurité maximale pour le concert pour la paix n’a-t’il pas été conservé pour cette soirée qui prévoyait attirer beaucoup plus de monde ?

Who was supposed to implement the safety measures for that night? Who took the time to create the necessary safety exit ways? Was there some planning done on the natural flow of movement of people after the fireworks? If there was massive deployment of security forces, who were the elements assigned to work that night and what was their role before, during and after the events? Why was the police presence set up the day before, which guaranted maximum security for the Peace Concert not maintained for the New Year's eve event, an event likely to attract many more people?

Here is a video of an interview of Mohamed Diaby with AJ Stream on what happened from his perspective:

Mohamed Diaby and Cyriac Gbogou are not detained anymore. Their effort to help the victims of the stampede continued even during their arrest.

Here is a poster with information on how to find relatives that went missing during the stampede:

Poster designed by ivorian activists to help with the recovery after the stampede in Abidjan. It says: ” To retrieve relatives missing since December 31 after the plateau (a borough in Abidjan) event , call +225 05346713  via @cyriacgbogou -public domain

While people gather to watch fireworks at a New Year celebration in Abidjan, a lethal stampede [fr] killed more than 60 and injured another 49 people.  This is the third disaster of this kind since 2009 [fr] in Côte d'Ivoire.

Update: The causes of the disaster are now clearer, as noted by the lead prosecutor. He cites [fr] the narrowing of the road due to the presence of a temporary metal fence, tree trunks on the sidewalk and the lack of lighting and law enforcement as main culprits for the disaster.



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