Cote d’ Ivoire ALERT: Clampdown on pro-Ouattara newspapers intensified

Cote d’Ivoire security agents loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, the defeated candidate of the run-off presidential election launched a systematic clampdown on media and journalists closed to Alhassane Dramani Ouattara, the winner of the election and the internationally recognized president of the country.

Gbagbo’s Minister of Communication, Ouattara Gnonzie, declared that he had “outlawed” the pro-Ouattara newspapers and they must be stopped as “quickly as possible”. He also said he would ensure that newspapers “respect the laws and the Constitution,” of the country.

The newspapers banned were Le Nouveau Reveil , L’Patriote, Nord-Sud Quotidien, L’Expression, Le Mandat, Le Deomcrate, and L’ Intelligent d’ Abidjan.

Earlier, the commander of the Republican Guard, Dogbo Ble Brunot and Charles Ble Goude, Gbagbo’s Minster of Youth Employment and Urban Health stormed the printing houses of the newspapers and threatened them to stop printing.

In protest, two pro-Gbagbo newspapers, Le Temps and Le Noveeau Courrier did not publish in solidarity with their colleagues.

The Republican Guards also stopped Edipresse, the only newspaper distribution company in the country from distributing the newspapers.

However, on December 19 after two days of the suspension, the media regulatory body, National Media Council (CNP) lifted the ban. According to Eugene Do Kacou, the CNP’s chairman, the media can only be sanctioned by the CNP and the Attorney General.

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