10 July 2012

Cote d'Ivoire: Government Officials Visited Abidjan's Prison and Say Security Measures Will Be Reinforced

press release

Government officials, including the Ivorian Minister in charge of Defense, Paul Koffi Koffi and Mrs. Matto Cisse, in charge of the Justice portfolio, visited Abidjan's main prison yesterday where four inmates are still on the run after they managed to escape last Sunday.

The information was reported by Fraternite Matin (pp. 11 & 13) which noted that a combination of human and technical failures are to be blamed for last weekend's escape. According to Mrs. Cisse the facility does not meet technical requirements for a prison. "The building is surrounded by weeds and the fences that are meant to prevent inmates from fleeing have been removed," she reportedly said, adding that investigations will be carried out to shed light on the causes of the incident. On his part, Mr. Koffi said army officers will meet to outline security measures to be implemented in the facility. "We are here on behalf of President Ouattara who will announce measures to ensure security issues of this sort are addressed," he reportedly said.

With more on the issue, Le Nouveau Reveil (p. 3) noted that many mysteries surround the recurrent prison breaks, a situation which could be traced to the rather tense relationship between law enforcement agents and guards stationed in the correctional facilities. Notre Voie (p. 7) noted that a total of 227 inmates have escaped within one month.

This daily press review is compiled by the Information Section of the Public Affairs Office of the American Embassy in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. The opinions expressed in these reviews in no way reflect the views of the United States Government and are presented for informational purposes only. The accuracy of reports contained in this summary has not been confirmed by the Embassy.

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