Clashes between residents of Koumassi, working-class neighborhood of Abidjan, who were protesting against the dismantling of fraudulent electrical connections and gendarmes took place on Tuesday, causing several minor injuries, AFP sources told concordants.
« There were three cars of the CIE (Ivorian Electricity Company) burned, several arrests and a few wounded, » said a spokesman for the gendarmerie to AFP.
According to a security source, the CIE wanted to remove fraudulent connections in the neighborhood.
Thousands of Abidjan residents are illegally connecting to the power grid to avoid having to pay bills and the CIE regularly conducts « disconnection activities ».
In 2016, the Ivorian government wanted to increase electricity tariffs, justifying this increase by the fact that the State continued to subsidize electricity to 60 to 80 billion FCFA (91.4 to 121.9 million euros) per year. In July 2016, these increases sparked demonstrations that escalated into violence in several cities across the country.
Consumers’ organizations fighting against high prices are regularly worried about higher rates.