News / Africa

Ivorian Voters in Rebel-Held Areas Prepare for Sunday's Election

A UN vehicule passes billboards for the presidential electoral campaign on a moped in Bouake, 27 Oct 2010
A UN vehicule passes billboards for the presidential electoral campaign on a moped in Bouake, 27 Oct 2010

Sunday's presidential vote in Ivory Coast is meant to reunite the country eight years after a brief civil war. Former rebels who still control areas in the north say they will keep most of their forces in barracks during the vote.

At first, it is subtle difference driving between the government-controlled south and northern areas still run by former fighters. The soldiers' uniforms do not quite match. There are more people with guns just hanging around; more checkpoints and more questions about what you are carrying.

Commercial trucks driving this main road north from Abidjan pay regular fees to pass in and out of rebel-held areas. The World Bank estimates the forces in control here earn at least $300 million a year from these checkpoints.

But it is not just the trucks. Cars too get closer inspection in the north. "What do you have for me?" a young rebel asks leaning in the window. "A soda? Water? Something else?"

The perceived ethnic inequalities that sparked the conflict in 2002 still exist in Ivory Coast. And they are not hard to find in the last week of campaigning.

Northern rebels started the war because they said southern politicians were neglecting the region. Former prime minister Alassane Ouattara was previously disqualified as a candidate because of questions about his nationality in a part of the country where many people are decedents of migrant workers from Mali and Burkina Faso.

Ouattara is a candidate in this vote and says he is running to reunite the country.

Ouattara says he has a message of peace in this election, which he says is especially important in areas that have known the difficulties of conflict. He says he has a solution for a population in crisis and hopes that this election allows him to put his program in action.

The question of Ivorian identity came to a head in February when President Laurent Gbagbo dissolved his government and dismissed the electoral commission saying that more than 400,000 people were illegally registered to vote.

President Gbagbo eventually agreed to a new voter list. But he has kept up the issue on the campaign trail, saying that of the major candidates in this election he is the only true Ivorian.

The president says there is one Ivorian in this race and three impostors. The others are foreign impostors, he says, and he does not want his country to be governed by foreigners.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid