Home Forums Côte d’Ivoire: Getting past the labels? Getting Past the Labels?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Briony Jones 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #698 Reply

    Briony Jones


    Having being involved in research on/in Côte d’Ivoire since 2012 I feel I am only just beginning to ‘know’ something about this country’s society and history. What has surprised me, as a newcomer to the case of Côte d’Ivoire, has been both the speed with which a transitional justice process was designed and implemented following the electoral crisis in 2010-11 and the prevalence of seemingly rigid labels through which violence, peace and justice are discussed. ‘Pro Gbagbo’ if you are a supporter of the former President or ‘Pro Ouattara’ if you are a supporter of the current President. But surely the colonial history, movement of people, and ethnic diversity renders this dichotomy useless? What can it still tell us that is of relevance to understanding transitional justice in Côte d’Ivoire? And are there any actors within or outside of the country actively challenging such labels? I know that the work of anthropologist M. McGovern finds these terms too simplistic but I have not read much other work, and certainly not in policy circles, which also seeks nuance. I also wonder what effect such labels have on how the transitional justice process has been designed.


    #733 Reply

    Adou Djané

    Indeed, the current tension linked to the electoral campaigns of 2020, and which seems to reproduce the pattern of political violence that led to the political and military crisis seems to be challenging the division between pro Gbagbo and pro Ouattara. Indeed, this current tension is drawing more between the former allies against the regime of Laurent Gbagbo. In this respect, the current transitional process is “failing” because it fails to take into account the true roots of this crisis, namely the continuity of political violence independently of the political actors of the moment, since the independence of the country. Moreover, the new actors constituted by the exiles and the diaspora whatever their membership is also to be considered.

    #739 Reply

    Briony Jones

    It is interesting that you mention diaspora and those in exile. The diaspora were partially consulted by the dialogue, truth and reconciliation commission but this was unsatisfactory for many in the diaspora as only the platforms in Paris, London and New York were engaged in the process. Given the potential strength of the diaspora and their engagement with current events in Cote d’Ivoire do you think that they will increase in their relevance during this period? How do they as a group challenge the simplistic dichotomies used to label actors during the series of crises since independence?

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