Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

#BringBackOurGirls - anger and a sense of déjà vu

Read more

FOCUS

Italy helps integrate asylum seekers through training

Read more

FOCUS

'It's a jungle': Living on the street in the City of Light

Read more

THE DEBATE

Boko Haram Kidnappings: Can Nigerian schoolgirls be protected?

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Brand Trump: Has the US president damaged his company's reputation?

Read more

ENCORE!

Oscars sneak peek: 'Call Me By Your Name', 'I, Tonya' and 'Darkest Hour'

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Are the French rude, or is it a big misunderstanding?

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Gun control in the US: A glimmer of compromise?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Opposition activist Evan Mawarire: Zimbabweans hope they can 'reset our future'

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

2018-02-15 Russia

Video: How the 2014 Winter Olympics transformed Sochi

In 2014, the Russian seaside resort of Sochi hosted the Winter Olympics. With a price tag of $50 billion, they were the most expensive Olympic Games ever. The event was intended...

Read more

2018-02-02 Europe

Video: Transnistria, a republic in limbo at the edge of Europe

Transnistria is a rebel republic inside Moldova in the far east of Europe, born from the ashes of the Soviet Union. More than 25 years after a peace agreement was signed in 1992,...

Read more

2018-01-19 Gambia

Video: Gambians reflect on first year of democracy

One year ago, former Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh waved to his supporters for the last time on the tarmac of Banjul airport before fleeing to Equatorial Guinea, where he still...

Read more

2018-01-05 Asia-pacific

How former Maoist child soldiers became engineers of Nepal's democracy

Between 1996 and 2006, a bloody civil war between Maoist revolutionaries and the state tore Nepal apart. A decade later, FRANCE 24 Reporters head to Nepal for the first...

Read more

2017-12-21 Africa

The remains of Central African Republic's imperial past

FRANCE 24's reporters returned to the Central African Republic, 40 years after Jean-Bedel Bokassa crowned himself emperor. Nicknamed the "Central African Napoleon", Bokassa was...

Read more