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Protests Likely in Angola, Senegal, South Africa and Togo

Demonstrations planned for the week ahead in four countries could turn violent.
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A flooded street in Dakar, Senegal, in 2010. Photograph by Norm Copeland.

Angola: announcement of election results on September 10 likely to trigger opposition protests

The publication of final election results on September 10 is likely to prompt protests in Luanda organised by opposition parties if the ruling MPLA is victorious. Provisional results gave the MPLA over 72% of the vote.

Opposition parties UNITA and CASA-CE have announced that they will contest the results and produce proof of electoral fraud. UNITA has the largest potential to mobilise support in Luanda; a rally in 2011 attracted over 100,000 supporters. The election results are likely to strengthen the loyalty of security forces who could to use tear gas, batons, dogs and live ammunition to disperse protesters.

Senegal: Protests in Dakar and Touba likely in the coming weeks due to flooding and power cuts

On August 14, a building collapsed in Yarakh, Dakar, due to heavy flooding, killing six people. This was followed by a protest in Touba against flood damage and cuts in electricity supply.

Youths have previously staged violent protests against what they perceived as the government's lack of action to address the problem of flooding and alleviate the impacts. Protest risks reduced after President Macky Sall took power in March 2012. However the recent flood damage and power cuts are likely to trigger (potentially violent) protests in heavily populated areas of Dakar including Pikine, Grand Dakar and Guediawaye.

South Africa: Protests at Lonmin's Marikana mine likely to escalate

On September 6, expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema postponed his address to striking mineworkers and will likely reschedule within the next week. Malema is likely to continue calls for mineworkers to make the sector 'ungovernable' in their drive to secure wage increases.

Striking workers are likely to continue protests to increase pressure on Lonmin to shut down its remaining operations, particularly at its K3 shaft. Although Malema is likely to reject the use of violence, there is a high risk that his address will incite the situation at the mine. Police are unlikely to use live ammunition against protesters although a heavy crackdown with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons is likely. Workers have threatened to burn down the mine and kill management if their demands are not met.

Togo: Security forces likely to respond with force to demonstrations in Lomé

On September 2, the Republican Front for Alternation and Change (FRAC) announced an anti-government protest march in Lomé for September 8. Sit-ins in Lomé protesting against the arrest of former minister Pascal Bodjona are unlikely to end until his release.

Protests are likely to escalate in September, demanding electoral reform or the postponement of parliamentary elections scheduled for October 2012. On September 2, thousands of people attended a peaceful march in Sokodé, organised by the FRAC. Marches in Lomé and interior towns including Sokodé and Kara are probable following a call for civil disobedience by the Save Togo collective on September 4. Security forces are likely to respond with tear gas and rubber bullets, especially in the Déckon district of Lomé. There is high risk of collateral damage to property and injury to bystanders. Disruptions to port operations and cargo movement are unlikely as most protests will be held away from the port.

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