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Rioters torch government building in protest at voter registration delays

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-09

Rioters in western Ivory Coast have burned down a local government building during a protest against the government’s handling of voter registration in a much-delayed presidential election intended to end years of political crisis.

REUTERS - Rioters in western Ivory Coast burned down a local government building on Tuesday during a demonstration against the government’s handling of voter registration in a much delayed election.

Witnesses said more than a thousand demonstrators marched through the city of Vavoua as local security forces tried unsuccessfully to disperse them by firing shots in the air.

Vavoua is in the half of Ivory Coast that has been administered by the rebel New Forces since a 2002-3 war split the world’s top cocoa growing nation in two.

“The situation is calm now but the protestors burned down the sub-prefecture and they also tried to burn down the town hall before we intervened to stop it,” said a local New Forces security official Lieutenant Ouattara Bemba.

“They are saying they are unhappy with the way the government has handed the electoral list,” he said.

Political tensions are rising as West Africa’s former economic giant looks set to miss another deadline for holding presidential elections needed to end years of political crisis.

Date created : 2010-02-09

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