Since the end of the socio-political crisis in 2011, the situation in Côte d’Ivoire has become more stable and the country has gradually entered a reconstruction phase. A number of major infrastructure projects initiated by the state have resulted in continued economic growth. Despite these positive developments, the socio-political situation remains fragile. Tensions between communities exist within the city of Abidjan, and in the forest area of the west, both areas being home to much of the socio-political tensions and violence that have affected Côte d’Ivoire for over a decade.
Interpeace has been engaged in Côte d’Ivoire since 2012, working with local partner Indigo Côte d’Ivoire (CI). Interpeace and Indigo CI have been particularly active in the western regions of the country, where our 2013 and 2017 participatory action research projects revealed that the main challenges to social cohesion and lasting peace is a widespread feeling of ‘self-victimization’, a trust crisis between the populations and the local authorities, and tensions around the figure of the foreigner. Since 2015, Interpeace and Indigo-CI have also engaged on issues of youth violence and resilience to violence, including in Abidjan, through participatory research projects, as well as operational initiatives aimed at reintegrating youth gang members within their communities.