CrisisWatch N°92, 1 April 2011
In Côte d´Ivoire, the security and humanitarian situation deteriorated as civil war reignited. The month saw continued heavy clashes between forces backing internationally-recognised president Alassane Ouattara and those loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo, with reports of sexual violence, summary executions, and direct shelling of civilians.
In Nigeria, an increase in communal and sectarian violence threatened the prospects of credible and peaceful general elections in April. As security forces deployed across the country, CrisisWatch identifies a risk of violence around the polls.
Tensions escalated in Benin as opposition supporters rejected the results of the 13 March presidential election, and police forcibly dispersed opposition protests in Cotonou. In neighbouring Burkino Faso, army grievances surfaced as gunfire broke out between soldiers in the capital Ouagadougou.
In Niger, however, the situation improved. The transition to civilian rule following last year´s military coup was consolidated by a peaceful run-off presidential election on 12 March. Opposition leader Mahamadou Issoufou was declared winner with 58 per cent of the vote; his opponent Seini Oumarou, accepted defeat. ECOWAS commended the polls and lifted economic sanctions in place since late 2009.