Eyewitness account from Gagnoa: “Police opened fire on protestors almost immediately”

One of our Observers in Abidjan put us in touch with Moussa, a salesman who lives in Gagnoa. He says that he participated in anti-government protests there this morning, and confirms reports that the police opened fire on the crowd. Here is his account, which cannot be verified independently by FRANCE 24.

Moussa B. (not his real name) is a salesman in Gagnoa.

We went out to protest this morning - word had spread to meet at 9 am in front of a monument we call the ‘wooden mosque’, in the city centre. The protest was banned by the authorities, but we decided to go anyway. I’d say there were several hundred of us, if not a thousand.

The police were already there, someone must have tipped them off. They shot a short round of tear gas to break up the crowd, but when we resisted they opened fire almost immediately.

Most people ran away when they heard gunshots. I began running when a person near me was hit by a bullet and fell to the floor. Some people wanted to keep on marching. It was chaos, people were panic-stricken. I saw at least four people get shot and one body, apparently lifeless, on the floor.

I managed to run home and haven’t been out since. I’ve heard reports that there are four dead and many wounded at the hospital. One of my neighbours was shot in the head, he’s in hospital in a serious condition. We’re really scared, no one knows what’s going to happen next. I hope things won’t go from bad to worse." 

 

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