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.
After 17 years of women struggling for parity with men in the household, Côte d'Ivoire's
legislature has finally adopted a law which establishes equal responsibility for legally married spouses. But not everyone is happy.
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.
Women farmers in Côte d'Ivoire are achieving greater autonomy and economic independence thanks to new varieties of cassava.
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.
Even as Côte d'Ivoire gradually recovers from the bloody events of the 2010-2011 post-electoral crisis, massacres in the western part of the country and the frequent sound of gunfire in the economic capital, Abidjan, are signs of the long road ahead.
Nine women in the northern Côte d'Ivoire town of Katiola have been convicted for carrying out female genital mutilation – the first time that a 1998 law banning FGM has been applied.
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.
A shiver ran down Habiba Kanaté's* spine when she read about a policeman shooting and killing his wife in Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d'Ivoire. "That could have been me," she said.
Twelve-year-old Ahmed* pauses on his crutches in the narrow lane that leads from his house to the main road, glancing at the bullet holes still visible on the walls here in the Abobo Park 18 area of Abidjan. He sighs, then speeds up again to catch the bus that will take him downtown to the Adjamé quarter.
Thousands of people suffered rape, torture and other violence during the post- electoral crisis in Côte d'Ivoire beginning in December 2010. But many survivors of rights violations have been afraid to seek justice for fear of reprisals by the perpetrators. An initiative by the International Federation of Human Rights aims to support 75 such victims as they bring their cases to court.