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Cablegate: Abidjan: Emergency Action Committee (Eac) Meets to Review

VZCZCXRO5887
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHAB #0172 0481611
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 171610Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0169
INFO ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS ABIDJAN 000172

SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR DS, CA, AF/EX, AF/W AND DS/IP/AF

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PINR CASC PREL IV
SUBJECT: ABIDJAN: EMERGENCY ACTION COMMITTEE (EAC) MEETS TO REVIEW
POST SECURITY FOLLOWING GOVERNMENT SHAKE-UP

1. (SBU) The DCM convened the Emergency Action Committee (EAC) on
Tuesday, February 16, 2010, to review security issues at post
following the surprise dismissal of the cabinet and the Independent
Election Commission by President Laurent Gbagbo on the evening of
Friday, February 12.

Situation

----------

2. (SBU) EAC members reported that the public's general reaction to
the dismissals was subdued. Over the weekend, there were
spontaneous public demonstrations in Abengourou to the east of the
capital, in Tafire in the north, and in the Abidjan suburb of
Yopougon. Government security forces maintained a high state of
alert throughout the city, and opposition leaders appeared to be
disorganized as they did not/not press for any immediate response
from their followers, despite having initially called for
demonstrations. Heavy rains followed by sporadic flooding on
Sunday further inhibited any reaction by the population. Embassy
officers closely monitored the situation throughout the Presidents
Day weekend, and continue to do so.

3. (U) On Monday, 15 February, the consular section cleared and
issued a warden message to the American community advising them of
the situation and the potential for spontaneous demonstrations and
political unrest, reminding citizens that such events can escalate
into violence. The same message was passed to direct-hire embassy
employees via the emergency telephone tree.

Current Security Posture

------------------------

4. (SBU) Over the weekend, post updated the Country Specific
Information and the Travel Warning and submitted both to the
Department for approval. During the EAC, RSO reminded post
personnel that COM approval for out-of-town travel remains in
place. The Management officer noted that because of the current
electricity shortage, all generators had been checked in the past
10 days.

5. (SBU) The EAC determined that the current security measures and
procedures in place are appropriate for a country rated critical
for both potential political violence and for crime. The RSO noted
that while the security mechanisms are available and appropriate, a
Crisis Management Exercise scheduled for later this week via
Digital Video Conference by the Foreign Service Institute will
provide post with an occasion to review all procedures in detail.
NESBITT

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