At least 2 people were killed and 19 others injured when a cashew trafficking incident in Ivory Coast turned into a bloody confrontation between residents of Assuéfry in the east of the country and the Ivorian republican forces.
Several tons of cashew nuts being smuggled to neighbouring Ghana were seized by the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast (FRCI) in the town of Assuéfry. The seizure comes at a time when cashew processing factories in Ivory Coast are facing a shortage of the raw materials.
Alain Richard Donwahi and Adjoumani Kobenan Kouassi, Ministers for Defence and Animal Resources respectively who were dispatched to the scene to calm tempers were fiercely resisted by the residents.
Apart from the loss of lives and injuries, several properties were damaged. The angry resident even attacked the car which transported the two state officials to the scene, forcing them to leave hurriedly.
Although calm has since returned to the area, it is believed the tension still exists.
This is not the first time the FRCI and residents of Assuéfry have clashed over the movement of cashew.
In 2014, tempers run high when the military personnel stopped a truckload of cashew being taken to Ghana.
Cross-border trafficking between the Ivory Coast and Ghana plays a crucial role in the lives of people who live particularly along the eastern border of Ivory Coast.