As the international community focuses its attention on the elections in Mali, neighboring Côte d'Ivoire is increasingly perceived as being on track in its transition toward democracy and development. However, although significant progress has been made since the end of the post-electoral crisis in April 2011, which caused more than 3,000 deaths, Côte d'Ivoire remains deeply fragmented and fragile.
How genuine is the commitment to reconciliation?
A true commitment to reconciliation among the different communal, political, and ethnic groups is still missing, especially in the west, where ousted President Laurent Gbagbo continues to enjoy immense popularity. Informal discussions with village chiefs and local citizens, primarily from the Guere ethnic group, reveal deep distrust of the current administration, which is headed by Alassane Ouattara. These feelings of resentment and alienation are fueled in particular by a perception of victor's justice: Whereas supporters of the former regime languish in prison, very few high-ranking members of the new leader's Forces Républicaines de Côte d'Ivoire have been tried.