Cote d’Ivoire

On 3 March 2011, hundreds of women gathered to protest peacefully in Cote d’Ivoire to end the political stalemate and the worsening security situation. The Ivorian women took to the streets of Abidjan to put pressure on their leaders to end the stalemate and allow peace to prevail. Seven unarmed women protestors were killed in the process by forces loyal to former president Laurent Koudou Gbagbo.

Soldiers supporting Côte d’Ivoire's internationally recognised president-elect Alassane Ouattara seized the western city of Bloléquin on Monday. A spokesman of the New Forces former rebel group Mara Laciné said Bloléquin is under their control after 'fierce fighting' on Sunday night. The New Forces, who mainly support Mr Ouattara, control the north but have advanced on western towns neighbouring Liberia.

No newspapers were distributed on Friday in Côte d’Ivoire, where the protracted political impasse is creating an extremely grave if not impossible situation for journalists and news media. As the country seems to head steadily towards civil war, with casualties every day, journalists are being exposed to threats, arrests and reprisals, and often have to risk lives to report in some neighbourhoods, says RSF.

UNIS Geneva

The worst-case scenario for Côte d’Ivoire – outside of military intervention – seems to have been ruled out, but the West’s alternative strategy for ousting Laurent Gbagbo – economic and financial sanctions – will also destroy the country, argues Pierre Sané. Is it a question of ‘imposing Alassane Ouattara at all costs’, no matter what the true outcome of the election might have been?

Pambazuka News

The lack of media coverage on Côte d’Ivoire doesn't mean the situation has improved, writes Sokari Ekine, in this week’s review of protests across the continent, which also features Egypt, Libya, Mauritania and Zimbabwe.