Sofia Benlemmane

Arrest of Sofia Benlemmane in Ivory Coast: security authorities come out of silence

On Tuesday January 16, 2024, Sofia Benlemmane, an Algerian activist, in Ivory Coast to attend the 34th African Cup of Nations, was arrested in Bouaké.

Sofia Benlemmane, a committed activist and fervent Algerian supporter, was apprehended by the police because of statements deemed offensive towards residents and the Ivorian authorities. This supporter, present in the capital of central Ivory Coast to support her national team, is currently detained at the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DST), where she is the subject of in-depth interrogations, according to sources close to the case cited by KOACI.

Although initial rumors spoke of an imminent expulsion from Ivorian territory, security sources confirmed this Wednesday that this measure was actually planned before midnight. Indeed, the controversy emerged following the viral broadcast of a video on social networks. In this sequence, Sofia Benlemmane allegedly made comments considered to be “offensive” on living conditions in Ivory Coast.

The security authorities quickly reacted by putting in place measures to manage this delicate situation. Note that the reaction of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is expected, while discussions on the boundary between sporting passion and respect for the hosts are at the heart of this controversy.