How selective justice is eroding peace in Côte d’Ivoire


Bringing war criminals to justice is a cornerstone for building reconciliation and stability in countries emerging from armed conflict. But in Côte d'Ivoire, six years of trials involving 83 suspects have left many people bitter and pessimistic, just as the country starts to gear up for pivotal 2020 elections.

Some 3,000 people were killed in post-election violence after Laurent Gbagbo, in power since 2000, refused to concede defeat to Alassane Ouattara in the December 2010 presidential election. Ouattara, who had headed a rebellion that controlled the north of the country since 2002, has been the country’s head of state since April 2011.

A final cluster of verdicts, delivered mid-January, brought to 588 the total years of jail terms handed down to people implicated in the unrest. Yet all the convictions have involved people in the Gbagbo camp.

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