Student arrest and campus police cause tension

The arrest of a student accused of leading a strike has heightened tension at the University of Abobo-Adjame in Cote d'Ivoire. Meanwhile, students and lecturers at Cocody University are on strike demanding the removal of police from the campus.

Kouakou Konan, a masters student in the water sciences unit at Abobo-Adjame, was arrested by university police and taken first to the main Abidjan police station and then to a remand centre, reported

The university authorities claimed he was a ringleader of a recent student strike that was called to demand cancellation of a FCFA3,000 (US$6.34) charge for good conduct kits, an accusation he denied.

"All this isn't making for a lasting peace in the universities," Mian Augustin, general secretary of the Fesci student federation, told notrevoie. "We have taken steps for his release... We have already got four students freed who were held at the police station a few days ago."

The situation in universities remained 'precarious', especially at Abobo-Adjame where there was still tension, although courses had resumed there, said notrevoie.

It reported that a deadlock continued at the University of Cocody where students and teachers remained on strike, demanding the unconditional removal of the university police. The lecturers were insisting that the university council put the order for their departure in writing and inform the national higher education and research union CNEC.

A few days previously university police had carried out serious acts of violence against students, beating them and wounding them with knives; and some had firearms, reported notrevoie.

This had shocked lecturers, who now regarded the police as regime militia, installed on the campus to silence the student and teaching unions, said notrevoie.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.