Last week’s local elections in Côte d’Ivoire were supposed to be a contest between members of the current governing coalition. But in municipal races, independent candidates claimed more seats than either of the coalition’s two main parties, suggesting possible dissatisfaction with President Alasanne Ouattara at the local level.
The extradition of high-level allies of former Côte d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo from Ghana back to their home country, including a most recent one on Feb. 5, has brought renewed scrutiny to the Ivorian judiciary, which critics say is implementing a form of one-sided victor’s justice since the 2010 to 2011 post-election conflict.
When Emmanuel Kokou, a 28-year-old sex worker, moved from his native Togo to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in 2010, he knew there was a good chance that he had previously been exposed to HIV. But he had no intention of getting tested.
Nouma Camara, a 40-year-old tailor, remembers waking up on Aug. 20, 2006 to a smell he described as “something catastrophic.” His home in Akouedo village, in Côte d’Ivoire’s commercial capital city of Abidjan, lies adjacent to a large, open-air dumpsite where toxic waste had been dumped the night before.
In his black boots and green fatigues – complete with arm patches bearing the name of the national army, Forces Republicaines de Côte d’Ivoire – Ousmane Kone looked every bit the soldier as he stood guard over an electricity and water distribution company one Tuesday afternoon in Abidjan.
Yacouba Coulibaly was pursuing a doctorate in education at Cocody University in Abidjan before Côte d’Ivoire’s post-election violence started in 2010. But his classes were routinely disrupted by armed members of a powerful student federation that wished to hold meetings instead.
Salimata Coulibaly, director of a medical centre in the town of Korhogo in the northern Cote d’Ivoire region of Savanes, stood before a chart displaying before-and-after photos of local children – one taken when each child arrived at the centre, and one after he or she responded to treatment for malnutrition.
Eliane Negui knew just what to do when she got word that a group of inmates had escaped from Abidjan’s main prison, MACA, earlier this month. After all, the 24-year-old, who has lived across a dirt road from the facility for nine years, had witnessed the same scenario just two months before.
Liberians headed to the polls in what appeared to be modest numbers Tuesday morning for a presidential runoff that has been marred by an opposition boycott and the deaths of at least two demonstrators at an opposition rally.
Former warlord Prince Johnson, who placed third in Liberia’s election last week, has endorsed the re-election bid of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who was named a joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize just days before the vote.
Liberians cast their ballots Tuesday in an election that has so far been described as orderly and peaceful, though concerns persist that a disputed result could anger voters and fuel minor unrest.
As Liberia gears up for Tuesday’s presidential and legislative elections, officials stationed near the border with Ivory Coast have expressed concern that insufficient border security - a problem highlighted by two recent cross-border attacks - could fuel electoral violence.
As the Norwegian Nobel Committee named Liberian President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf a joint winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, opposition party supporters were flooding the streets of Monrovia to demand that she be voted out of office in the upcoming election.
It seems all of Liberia is paying close attention to the campaign for the Oct. 11 presidential and legislative elections. But Sekou Camara is one exception.
International justice advocates are worried that donors will deprive the International Criminal Court (ICC) of sufficient funding next year, hindering the court’s ability to fulfil an expanding mandate that will stretch from Kenya to Libya and potentially Ivory Coast.