This Article by Human Right Watch Team is on the pre and post-election problems that have evolved a war between the two parties of the candidates of the presidential Outtara’s and Gbagbo’s forces. After the post-election in which Outtara became the president of the Ivory Coast, his loyalist forces are still committed crimes toward the supporters of ancient regime of Laurent Gbagbo, on the civilians and military groups. In response to what the former government of Laurent Gbagbo has done to the latter ethnic groups. After his lost the election, he refused to step down , which bring the country to the war that have left hundreds of people from both groups death in Ivory Coast. UN Human Rights Council and Human Rights Watch call for justice for victims and family of the victims in both camps as stated in the report: “‘They Killed Them Like It Was Nothing’: The Need for Justice for Côte d’Ivoire’s Post-Election Crimes details the war crimes and likely crimes against humanity committed by forces under both Gbagbo and Ouattara. “The Ouattara government has taken noteworthy steps to prosecute leaders of the former regime, including Gbagbo himself, against whom there is credible evidence of serious crimes,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “But the pursuit of justice is essential to victims on both sides who saw their loved ones killed, or houses burned, not just a tool for the victors.”

There is a significance tension between both camps p which resides on ethnical and nationality issues. One calling them as a native while qualifies the other as an outsider. Former president Laurent Gbagbo has divided the country because he is the one that has started to embrace this idea of citizenship  in classified some groups are true Ivoirians while other are considered are outsiders. Alassane Ouattara part of this djoula population was elected as president of Ivory Coast but his father and his mother are from another country Burkina Faso.

In my opinion, each ethnic groups for revenge, attacks the ethnic and religious people of the other party by killing them, burning the entire villages, church and mosques. The former head of the states, since he had the control of TV and radio stations, was using the media in order to pressure international organizations such UN humanitarian and African organization so they can leave the country. Gbagbo wants to preserve his idea of ethnicity superiority by showing that djoula ethnic are not intelligent enough to guide a country but they are good only in commerce. He is in his intention, to awake his population against those organizations and the entire immigrant from western of Africa, by portraying them as their enemies and a danger for his country Alassane Ouattara part of this djoula population was elected as president of Ivory Coast but his father and his mother are from another country Burkina Faso.  This situation is little bit similar to president Obama, but Alassane, both parents are not from Ivory Coast.

Like, African American, Djoula groups in Ivory Coast are the truly disadvantages. There are faces two kinds of discrimination: historical and religious discriminations. Civil war between North and South created by Former president Laurent Gbagbo had divided the country in two. The historical disadvantages create a group of people who was always behind. Motivated by business, djoula groups were merchants between different Western African countries.  Some major trade goods included gold, millet, slaves, kola nuts and so on…Important trading centers in southern West Africa developed at the transitional zone between the forest and the savanna. The Mandé embraced Islam during the thirteenth century, following introduction to the faith through contact with the Soninke people and North African traders.

Since then, they have gained the tittle of merchants as if, all of their life is supposed to be limited to that job. They were expecting the similar situation to their descendants, to have the same exact function in the society. As cited in the book of Cornell, Stephen and Douglas Hartmann, Ethnicity and Race: Making Identities in a Changing World: “This Ethnicity is not label forced upon people; they are also identities that people accept, resist, choose, specify, invent, redefine, reject, actively defend, and so forth”. Native people from Ivory Coast see Djoula as a Muslim and traders therefore they should not be involved in the politics. They also defined them as pure and simple immigrant even though they were born over there.  For them it is the ways that Djoula construct their own identities, shaping them and the boundaries that enclose them. There is this resentment feeling toward djoula population who are originated from Mali, Burkina Faso Senegal and Guinea. This unequally treatment of his population and mistreatment of West African immigrants in general are also the reasons that brought this war for three different reasons: political, cultural differences and religious beliefs. As merchant immigrant in Ivory Coast with lack of education; the latter generation of Djoula descendants went to school, have a very descent education and they are as well interested to be part of the government. Now the Bete groups feel threatening by the rise of the Djoula, who they think, are not belonging to the native land. They are okay if Djoula are only interested in trading rather than politics. Djoula constitute a large population in this country and their language, because of the trade, is the most spoken. They are very educated and they have money. For this cause most of them are interested in politics. But the native refusal is because they are not sharing the same belief neither the same religion. Practically all of them are Muslim while the Bete are Christians. Also they do not have the cultural views.  For the native, child of an immigrant cannot rule their ancestors place in any way.

In this account, ethnical war has be influenced by circumstantial factors, such as historical, cultural practice, and preexisting identities to fashion their own distinctive notions of who they are. Besides the election, this conflict purely ethnical and nationality clashed that have caused this war. Even though many djoula grandparents are naturally born Ivoirians, still they are discriminated through their ancestors origin. The arrest of strongman Laurent Gbagbo signals the end of a chapter in a bloody battle for control of the African nation.

http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/10/06/c-te-d-ivoire-impartial-justice-poses-test-ouattara

Book of Cornell, Stephen and Douglas Hartmann, Ethnicity and Race: Making Identities in a Changing World

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About mariamdiop

Im a Human Rights Activist

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