ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – A coalition opposed to the re-election of Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara says the government has detained 16 of its supporters for demonstrating last week.
Cesar Etou, spokesman for the National Coalition for Change, said Tuesday the detainees included one of its founding members who was taken from his home by plainclothes officers on Sunday afternoon.
The coalition organized demonstrations last Thursday to protest Ouattara's candidacy for the October vote. The demonstrations degenerated into clashes in several parts of the country, including the home regions of ex-President Laurent Gbagbo and his wife Simone.
Officials could not be reached to confirm the arrests Tuesday. But during a public appearance Monday Ouattara said those who encouraged people to protest and "disturb public order" should not "hide."