ABIDJAN, 31 December 2020 – Several gendarme officers have been arrested in Cote d’Ivoire in what authorities alleged is a plot to destabilize the West African country.

The nature of the plot and the exact number of gendarme officers arrested was not disclosed by General Apalo Toure, commander of the country’s gendarmerie force.

Reports in local newspapers, including the Abidjan-based L’Inter newspaper did not provide any additional details on the alleged plot.

General Toure made the revelation in a speech during an award ceremony for 111 gendarme officers held at the Gendarmerie Academy situated in the Cocody neighborhood of the country’s economic capital, Abidjan.

It is not known if there is any link between the arrest on Christmas Eve in Kasseregue village near the northern border town of Pogo and the gendarme napped.

According to the newspaper, Soir Info, the individuals arrested in Kasseregue village are being charged with gunrunning.

Customs at Pogo reportedly seized weapons and ammunition from the suspects, according the customs boss at Pogo, General Pierre Alphonse Da cited Thursday by Soir Info.

The claims of a plot to destabilization Cote d’Ivoire are being reported a day after a court in Abidjan discharged and acquitted opposition leader Pascal Affi-N’guessan.

In a statement released soon after his release, N’guessan, called on behalf of “Les Democrates de Cote d’Ivoire” for the release of all other opposition leaders detained in the country.

N’guessan also called on the government of President Alassane Ouattara to facilitate the return home from exile of the most prominent of his political opponents, including former president Laurent Gbagbo, former prime minister Soro Guillaume and former minister Charles Ble Goude.

N’guessan said such acts will create an appeased political environment conducive for the country’s much-needed and ever-elusive reconciliation.

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