Stories written by Robbie Corey-Boulet

Ivorians Snub Government

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.

Victor’s Justice Plays Out in Côte d’Ivoire

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.

Anti-gay Stigma Hinders Bid to Lower Côte d’Ivoire’s HIV Rate

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.

Ivorians Deal With European Stink

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.

Reluctant Farewell to Arms in Côte d’Ivoire

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.

Côte d’Ivoire’s Universities – Shedding a Legacy of Violence and Corruption

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.

Lean Times Get Leaner in Northern Cote d’Ivoire

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.

Security Gaps Fuel Cote d’Ivoire Prison Escapes

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. 

U.N. armored vehicles enter the compound of the Congress for Democratic Change after the first round of shooting. At least two demonstrators died. Credit: Robbie Corey-Boulet/IPS

LIBERIA: Runoff Goes Ahead Despite Boycott and Killings

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.

LIBERIA: Former Warlord Backs Johnson-Sirleaf for Second Term

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.

Supporters from President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Liberians Turn Out in Numbers to 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.

Bleblocoula Sylvain (foreground) lost eight members of his family during a March raid in Diboke, Ivory Coast.  Credit: Robbie Corey-Boulet/IPS

LIBERIA: “Security Risk” at Ivory Coast Border Ahead of Elections

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.

Opposition party supporters demanded that Nobel Peach Prize winner Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf be out of office.  Credit: Robbie Corey-Boulet/IPS

LIBERIA: Mixed Reviews for Johnson-Sirleaf’s Nobel Peace Prize

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.

Liberian Muslims Allege Disenfranchisement

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.

Concern over ICC Funding

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.

New Leadership for the ICC

As the International Criminal Court gears up to elect six judges and a new prosecutor, observers are warning that political rather than merit-based considerations could govern the evaluation of candidates.

KENYA: Rights Defender Deemed ‘Contrary to National Interest’

At about 9 pm on May 10, British human rights lawyer Clara Gutteridge arrived at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from Dar es Salaam, where she was investigating the arrests of Tanzanians accused of terrorism.

KENYA: Frustration Over Limits of ICC Charges

A decision to exclude crimes committed in the western city of Kisumu and the Nairobi slum of Kibera from a case against alleged organisers of violence following Kenya’s 2007 election could undermine the International Criminal Court’s effort to combat impunity in the East African nation, civil society groups have warned.

Kisumu barber David Mugo says the ICC cases should proceed and that lower-level perpetrators should be tried locally. Credit:  Robbie Corey-Boulet

Wrestling Over ICC’s Role in Africa

On its face, Kenya’s failed bid to defer International Criminal Court cases against alleged organisers of post-election violence in 2007-2008 was a story of changing positions. But to argue that either the U.S. or Africa has switched sides in the debate over the appropriate role of the ICC is too simplistic.

Supporters of ICC suspect Uhuru Kenyatta at Apr. 11 rally Credit:  Robbie Corey-Boulet/IPS

KENYA: ICC Suspects Cautious at ‘Heroes Welcome’

Two alleged organisers of violence around Kenya’s December 2007 elections delivered impassioned speeches during a raucous political rally in Nairobi on Monday, just days after an International Criminal Court judge advised them to refrain from inflammatory language.