Ivory Coast’s prison break led 100 inmates on the run, danger looms

Abidjan, the economic and commercial capital of the Ivory Coast

WEST AFRICA –– More than 100 hard cord are on the loose in the West African state of the Ivory Coast after a prison break on Sunday.

Security analysts say this is the latest string of jail breaks in the west African country.

Per local judicial officials, the inmates who escaped and are on the run from the central town of Katiola were once followers of the late leader of a prison mutiny last year, Coulibaly Yacouba.

A Prison in the Ivory Coast

Yacouba, popularly known as “Yacouly le Chinois” (“Yacouly the Chinese”), was killed in February 2016 during a struggled jail break at Ivory Coast’s main detention center in Abidjan.
Ten people were said to have died, including a guard while 21 others were injured.

Yacouba had been Incarcerated since 2012 on charges of “assassination and murder” but led the prison mutiny with a Kalashnikov in hand and another slung across his shoulder.

“The inmates went through the roof of their cells to get to other cells and took advantage of workers leaving to break the main gate and flee,” the judicial source said.

The recent jail break is the latest in a string of jail breaks in Ivory Coast, which has undergone intermittent unrest since the start of the year as a result of tensions within the country’s armed forces.

Last month, five inmates fled from a jail in the south-central city of Gagnoa. Report say four prison guards and one civilian were arrested on suspicion of aiding the inmates.

In another development two days later, about 20 people escaped from holding cells at the Abidjan courthouse after clashing with police. Meanwhile the government seven prison officials were arrested.

With the prison break, security analysts say considering the high degree of jihadist’s recruitment and activities in the sub region, the country is at a serious risk.
Ivory coast Mali where terrorists have made a virtual home. Over the past few months, there have been series of attacks on the Ivorian capital Abidjan as well as the neighboring country Burkina Faso.

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.
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