Cote d’Ivoire

Arbitrary arrests, kidnappings and torture by armed groups and government forces since the end of Côte d’Ivoire’s bloody 2010-2011 post-election unrest are stifling national reconciliation and causing fear and mistrust among civilians. A local human rights group estimates that around 200 supporters of ousted president Laurent Gbagbo have been detained, mostly in northern Côte d’Ivoire. In the western and central towns of Daloa and Issia, several civilians have been arrested and mistreated.

The National Press Commission (CNP), the print media regulatory body has suspended Notre Voie, a privately-owned pro-opposition daily newspaper for four publications. The suspension takes effect from 19 May 2012. According to the Media Foundation for West Africa’s (MFWA) correspondent, the decision of the regulatory body follows the publication of material that the commission says amounts to distortion of facts.

The much anticipated reconciliation talks between President Alassane Ouattara’s ruling party coalition and opposition parties ended much like they began: with the party of former President Laurent Gbagbo, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), conditioning future engagement on the release of Laurent Gbagbo and the other former party leaders in detention. These preconditions not only expose the FPI political elite’s contempt for the thousands of victims of often heinous forms of political violence, more

President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire promised paved roads, an end to power cuts and water shortages, better mobile phone coverage, and a new university in the country’s west as part of an 'emergency plan' to develop a region that has been steeped in violence and insecurity for a decade. But for some displaced Ivoirians still unable to return to their homes, the promises ring hollow.

Osange Silou-Kieffer, the wife of Franco-Canadian journalist Guy-André Kieffer missing in Côte d’Ivoire, has received an assurance from President Alassane Ouattara that no-one would be protected in the investigation into her husband’s disappearance. Visiting Abidjan, the country’s business capital, to mark the eighth anniversary of his disappearance, Silou-Kieffer and a Reporters Without Borders representative met Ouattara to tell him of their concern at the lack of progress in the more