The following report highlights major news developments in politics, health, and security in Cote d’Ivoire as of 14 December. This edition focuses on illegal mining, COVID-19 update, and a clash between the police and students over demand for early vacations. The report includes background information to add context to the news items.
Investigative Newspaper Highlights Illegal Diamond, Gold Trafficking in Cote d’Ivoire
A privately owned investigative newspaper published a report on illegal diamond and gold exploitation in Cote d’Ivoire. The report said that the country loses approximately $861 million in the illegal gold mining. It said that the money is distributed among the illegal miners, mine owners, middlemen, and their political and military connections. Regarding to the illegal exploitation of diamond, Cote d’Ivoire loses about $23 million.
Background: Cote d’Ivoire’s mining sector accounts for 5 percent of its GDP. The country’s gold production increased from 24.4 metric tons in 2018 to 32.5 metric tons in 2019. The diamond exploitation was banned from 2005 to 2014 due to an embargo during the political crisis.
COVID-19 Update as of 13 December
New cases: 2 positive of 1,167 samples (0.2 percent)
Total cases: 61,907
New recoveries: 14
Total recoveries: 60,997
New deaths: 0
Total deaths: 706
Active cases: 198
New vaccination doses: 135,467
Total vaccination doses: 5,148,676
Source: Ministry of Health
Students Clash With Police in Arrah Over Demand for Early Vacation
According to media reports, a clash broke out between students and security forces in the town of Arrah on 13 December. The incident started when a group of students attempted to dislodge other students at the Arrah Modern High School and the police intervened and arrested the instigators.
Background: In several towns of the country, groups of students disrupted classes by demanding early vacations. The Government appealed for calm and urged students to be civic-minded by respecting the school calendar.