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Ivorian Opposition Leader Pascal Affi Nguessan Arrested

Pascal Affi N’Guessan, Ivory Coast’s opposition leader and former Prime Minister, has been arrested for creating a parallel government after President Alassane Ouattara’s election victory.

Affi N’Guessan served as prime minister from 2000-2003 under former President Laurent Gbagbo, whose refusal to concede defeat to Ouattara after the 2010 election sparked a civil war in the West Africa country.

Aljazeera reported that Ivorian prosecutors were  pressing “terrorism” charges against more than a dozen opposition leaders who boycotted the October 31 vote in which Ouattara won a third term in office, and announced they were creating a transitional council

According to family and his political party sources, N’Guessan was arrested late on Friday by security agents  on his way to his hometown Bongouanou, near the Ivorian border with Ghana.

His wife, Angeline Kili, told Reuters news agency that he was detained soon after public prosecutors confirmed that police were looking for him and that  she did not know where he was being held.

Genevieve Goetzinger, a spokesperson for Nguessan, said on Twitter that he was arrested while travelling to his hometown of Bongouanou.

More than 40 people have been killed in protests against Ouattara’s third term bid since August.

Ouattara, 78, insisted the two terms he served were under the 2010 constitution, saying a new constitution in 2016 restarted his mandate.

He won 94 per cent of the vote in the 31 October poll.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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