Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

War of unknown words: Kim Jong-un calls Trump a 'dotard'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple's iPhone 8 debuts to muted reaction and lower sales

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A French fortune: Liliane Bettencourt's name was synonymous with 'scandal'

Read more

FASHION

Is Barcelona the new Eldorado for European fashion? 

Read more

THE DEBATE

Confiscated vote? Escalation over banned Catalonia referendum

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

UN rights chief says Burma should allow in investigators

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'I asked Macron to invest $300m in girls' education', Malala tells FRANCE 24

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Catalan referendum debacle

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

Parents in Mali concerned about Turkish-owned schools

Read more

REVISITED

We return to places which have been in the news - often a long time ago, sometimes recently - to see how local people are rebuilding their lives. Sunday at 9.10 pm. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2014-06-27

Ivory Coast: Rebuilding after the conflict

Three years after the post-election crisis in Ivory Coast, activity has resumed in the country's economic capital. Like the rest of the nation, Abidjan paid a heavy price during the conflict between political rivals Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara. Although bitterness remains and compensation has been long in coming, it is time to rebuild.

Upon arrival at Abidjan airport, the first signs of change are visible: the planes are full, the queue in front of the border police and at the taxi stand are orderly.

Three years after the post-election crisis, I'm back in the Ivorian economic capital. Like the rest of Ivory Coast, Abidjan paid a heavy price during the political standoff between rivals Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara, after the second round of the 2010 presidential election. More than 3,000 people died and a million were displaced during the winter of 2010-2011, according to UN estimates.

My driver Diaby, born and bred in Abobo, the largest district in Abidjan, tells me how relieved he is that a state of calm has returned. "We suffered," he tells me constantly. Many people in the district, which mainly supported Ouattara, suffered under repeated attacks by the army and militia loyal to Laurent Gbagbo.

Under a shady tree, I catch up with young people I met three years ago. Their message is the same. They support the current president, Alassane Ouattara, but their words now have a slightly bitter taste. Their situation has not evolved as fast as they would have liked. Most are graduates, but still without work.

For the opposing camp, made up of Gbagbo supporters, the imprisonment of their former leader and other political prisoners in The Hague is a hard pill to swallow. In Yopougon, for example, where the Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission has set up two offices, some residents have come to seek compensation. Numerous crimes, including lootings and killings, were also committed by the Ouattara camp.

The purpose of the Commission, which has had its mandate extended until September, is to hold its first hearings on the violence. Beatrice, a 38-year-old mother, lost her brother during the crisis and fled her home after it was ransacked by pro-Ouattara soldiers. She hopes to receive compensation from the Commission.

Meanwhile, calm has returned to Abidjan, and so has security. The toll bridge that will shorten the journey between the districts of La Riviera and Marcory from more than an hour to 15 minutes is almost finished. Growth has been positive for two years now. The most optimistic IMF forecasts predict 10 percent growth at the end of this year.

Companies that have survived the conflict are trying to catch up or get back on their feet. Stephane Eholié, general manager of a company with 250 employees, whom I met three years ago, had to cut his staff’s wages so as not to lay them off. But today, he has recruited 70 people and wants to look towards the rest of West Africa, saying that Ivorian small and mid-sized enterprises are the cornerstone of the country's economy. However, growth is not benefiting everyone. One in two Ivorians still live on less than one dollar a day.

By Willy BRACCIANO

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-09-15 Asia-pacific

Video: Dried-up Aral Sea springs back to life

Straddling the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea was once the fourth-largest saline lake in the world, an inland sea of 66,000 square kilometres. But in...

Read more

2017-09-01 Nigeria

Shadow of Nigeria’s Biafra war still looms large, 50 years on

On May 30, 1967, General Emeka Ojukwu declared Nigeria’s southeastern Biafra region an independent state, sparking what would become a bloody civil war that claimed more than one...

Read more

2017-07-07 Americas

From Rust Belt to Tech Belt: US city of Youngstown set on reinventing itself

The US city of Youngstown, in the state of Ohio, once symbolised the glory days of the "Steel Belt", an industrial area in the northeast. For decades, the US steel industry put...

Read more

2017-06-23 Africa

Senegal’s Casamance hopes for new era of peace

"Neither war nor peace." That’s how residents of Casamance, a region in southern Senegal, describe the conflict that long blighted their fertile land. With the lull in violence...

Read more

2017-06-02 Middle East

Exclusive: Beyond the notorious prison cells in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib

Located on the outskirts of Baghdad, Abu Ghraib prison shot to worldwide fame for all the wrong reasons after it was revealed that US security forces had systematically and...

Read more