Côte d’Ivoire: Teachers and Students on Strike Shot by Army

BakayokoThe Forces Républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI) are taking no prisoners this morning. They have received a firm order by Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko to ‘shoot to kill’ in order to send a clear message that the regime will tolerate no ‘disturbance’.

Bakayoko’s goal, as instructed him by his boss President Dramane Ouattara, is to silence any discordant voice by all means necessary, and especially put off the movements of teachers and students–on strike over the last three days for better wages and improved working conditions–and force them back into the classrooms.

The Government’s promises 4 years ago to renovate and equip the learning institutions of the country and improve teachers’ wages have not been fulfilled. The infrastructures destroyed by the rebels that supported the regime during the civil war have not been replaced or repaired. The university libraries are completely empty; the laboratories lack the most basic equipment; there are no chairs nor desks in the rooms; the faucets are out of order, and the student residences are squatted by Ouattara’s rebels. To call attention on the Government indifference, teachers and students launched a general strike three days ago; which the Government is determined to break at all costs.

Since his forced installation by the ‘international community’, Dramane Ouattara has marshalled in an autocratic regime that allows no room for dissension. Several members of opposition parties have been kidnapped and tortured by armed masked men in military uniforms before behind dropped in open fields a few days later. Over the last two years, two journalists whose articles were critical of the regime have met with death in mysterious circumstances.

In the wee hours of April 30, 2015, in the town of Mama (south-west Côte d’Ivoire), Dramane’s troops killed 2 and wounded 6 people in an effort to discourage a meeting organized by members of the largest opposition party, the FPI.

This climate of insecurity augurs nothing good for the upcoming presidential election (November 2015) whose democratic spirit has yet to be guaranteed.

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