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Sport Presidential in Côte d'Ivoire: ten years later, the West still a powder keg

12:00  22 october  2020
12:00  22 october  2020 Source:   sport24.lefigaro.fr

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Presidential elections will be held in Ivory Coast on 31 October 2020. The President of Ivory Coast will be elected for a five- year term using the two-round system.

The United Nations Operation in Côte d ' Ivoire (UNOCI) (French: Opération des Nations Unies en Côte d ' Ivoire (ONUCI)) was a UN-NATO peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast ( Côte d ' Ivoire ) whose objective was "to facilitate the implementation by the Ivorian parties of the peace agreement signed by

Un homme se tient près d'une fosse commune où 11 personnes tuées dans des violences lors de la crise post-électorale de 2010-2011 sont enterrées, à Duékoué, dans l'ouest de la Côte d'Ivoire, le 9 octobre 2020. © Issouf SANOGO A man stands near a mass grave where 11 people were killed in violence during the post-election crisis of 2010 -2011 are buried, in Duékoué, in western Côte d'Ivoire, on October 9, 2020.

"Peace". Near a mass grave where 11 people are buried, the inscription on the wall of a ruined maquis in the "Carrefour" district of Duekoué, one of the large towns in western Côte d'Ivoire, s 'is erased over time, ten years after the post-election crisis which left 3,000 dead.

Today, the inhabitants fear that a political spark linked to the presidential election of October 31st will again explode the "powder keg".

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"We are afraid that it will start again", assert using the same words several inhabitants of different ethnic origins.

The West, a cocoa zone, of which Côte d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer, was one of the hot spots of the 2010-2011 crisis born from the refusal of former President Laurent Gbagbo to recognize his defeat election against current President Alassane Ouattara, who is now seeking a controversial third term. Several hundred people lost their lives there.

Des enfants jouent dans la rue dans le village de Guitrozon, à côté de Duekué, dans l'ouest de la Côte d'Ivoire, le 9 octobre 2020. © Issouf SANOGO Children play in the street in the village of Guitrozon, near Duekué, in the west of Côte d'Ivoire, October 9, 2020.

Against the backdrop of land issues, the political crisis had resulted on community violence between Gueré, the local ethnic group, mainly pro-Gbagbo and "non-native" inhabitants, in particular Dioulas (ethnic group from the North), mainly pro-Ouattara, and Burkinabè immigrants.

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The pro-Ouattara rebels then committed atrocities by invading the area before taking power in Abidjan.

The main political actors of 2010 are still in the foreground: Alassane Ouattara and ex-president Henri Konan Bédié, now leader of the opposition, are candidates, while the candidatures of Laurent Gbagbo and the ex-leader of the rebellion which was opposed to him, Guillaume Soro (ex-ally of Ouattara who became opponent) were invalidated.

Des habitants du village de Guitrozon, à côté de Duekué, dans l'ouest de la Côte d'Ivoire, le 9 octobre 2020. © Issouf SANOGO Residents of the village of Guitrozon, near Duekué, in western Côte d'Ivoire, October 9, 2020.

- Immigration and xenophobic discourse -

But above all "land issues remain. C 'is recurrent in Guémon (Western region) ", underlines Imam Mamadou Doumbia on the spot. "This is where it all started" in 2010.

In mid-September, in Bangolo, (50 km north of Duekoué), a march against Ouattara's third term degenerated into violence, with young people burning mining trucks , symbol of the wealth which "passes under their noses".

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And the xenophobic discourse reappears.

"There is no activity here. Ouattara has done nothing. Since he became president, only the people of the North have benefited," accuses Gervais Gaha, president of the youth of Bangolo.

The earth is at the center of the tensions. The "indigenous" Guerés accuse the "foreigners" of extending their plantations beyond the limits of the land they have rented or sold to them.

On the other hand, non-native farmers accuse the Guerés of wanting to take back from them the land they have legally bought or rented.

The conflicts are permanent, but the electoral campaign ignited passions, even if it means twisting reality.

Marcellin Die, inhabitant of Carrefour, former local executive of Laurent Gbagbo's party, ignites: "Enough is the killing of the Guéré! The Guéré people are a martyr people. Duekoué is the martyr city. We are tired of the RHDP killings. "(Ouattara's party).

- anything can go wrong -

"We Ivorians want our country! We are foreigners at home. The business is held by supporters of Ouattara. Throughout the area, buyers of cocoa and coffee are for the Burkinabè. They received a special fund from Ouattara, "he continues.

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On the side of non-native farmers, "some Guerés" are accused of behaving like "little kings" and of wanting to take back land once it has been developed "with our sweat", explains a Burkinabè.

The memories of 2010 are vivid and fuel resentment.

"They (the Guerés) functioned as militias. Here in Duekoué, they blocked all the roads. They were killing in the corridors (roadblocks at the entrance to towns). When the rebels came, they took revenge. They did not give a gift ", testifies Imam Mamadou Doumbia, who assures however that" awareness campaigns "in which he participated have calmed the spirits.

"One evening, we were invaded by rebels from the North. They started to eliminate and kill us", testifies the chief of the village of Guitrozon, village at the entrance of Duekoué, Zeabahi Maurice.

Her brother was "slaughtered" and her crippled niece "shot" in her house. However, this 75-year-old former gendarme has forgotten "any idea of ​​revenge" and claims to work "from Saturday to Saturday" so that individual disputes do not turn into community clashes.

Its village of 1,400 indigenous inhabitants is home to around fifty "camps" of non-native people, located on cocoa farms. A "theft", a "question of women", a fight and everything can go wrong. "The population then says + We no longer want these people! We must drive them out +", he explains.

"The important thing is justice. Wherever there is injustice, there is disorder. The problem of Côte d'Ivoire in general is confidence. It must be restored".

pgf / de / thm

Ivory Coast. The convoy of the secretary general of the presidency strafed, no wounded .
© Issouf SANOGO / AFP The convoy of Patrick Achi, one of Alassane Ouattara's campaign directors, was strafed near Agbaou. Shaken for several days by deadly electoral violence, Côte d'Ivoire experienced another eventful day with the attack on the convoy of the secretary general of the presidency.

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