On April 29, 2011 a panel held at USIP discussed the challenges that will face Côte d'Ivoire in the aftermath of post-election violence that left 1,500 people dead and more than one million displaced. What factors must be considered in addressing the humanitarian crises and crimes against humanity? Equally important, what does the recent postelection violence tell us about the state of political development and democratization in Africa today?

Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to acknowledge his loss to Alassane Ouattara in Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential elections last November resulted in nearly five months of postelection violence that  left 1,500 people dead, more than one million displaced, and an economic crisis generated by the international financial and cocoa export sanctions placed on Gbagbo’s government. With the arrest of Gbagbo on April 11, the Ouattara administration is turning its focus to rebuilding and reconciling the country. To this end, President Ouattara  has appealed to the European Union to ease sanctions and proposed the creation of a truth and reconciliation mission.

Nevertheless, the current conditions make governing a country that was already politically, ethnically, and culturally, deeply divided even more difficult. How can Côte d’Ivoire overcome the governing, humanitarian, and social challenges it now faces?  More broadly, what does the postelection violence in Côte d’Ivoire tell us about the state of political and democratic development in Africa? 


  • I. William Zartman, Panelist
    Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
  • Gina Lambright, Panelist
    George Washington University
  • Jonathan Elliot, Panelist
    Human Rights Watch
  • Dorina Bekoe, Moderator
    U.S. Institute of Peace

Explore Further

If you are interested in this event, you may also be interested in the following Academy courses:


Related Publications

To Stabilize Iraq After ISIS, Help Iraqis Reconcile

To Stabilize Iraq After ISIS, Help Iraqis Reconcile

Sunday, February 11, 2018

By: USIP Staff; Nancy Lindborg; Sarhang Hamasaeed

An international conference opens in Kuwait Monday to plan ways to rebuild Iraq and secure it against renewed extremist violence following the three-year war against ISIS. A USIP team just spent nine days in Iraq for talks with government and civil society leaders, part of the Institute’s years-long effort to help the country stabilize. The Kuwait conference will gather government, business and civil society leaders to consider a reconstruction that Iraq has said could cost $100 billion. USIP’s president, Nancy Lindborg, and Middle East program director, Sarhang Hamasaeed, say any realistic rebuilding plan must focus also on the divisions and grievances in Iraq that led to ISIS’ violence and that still exist.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Violent Extremism

As Vice President Pence Visits the Middle East, Hopes for Diplomacy Languish

As Vice President Pence Visits the Middle East, Hopes for Diplomacy Languish

Friday, January 19, 2018

By: Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen

Vice President Mike Pence heads to Egypt, Jordan and Israel with little diplomatic quiet, and even less hope, on the Israeli-Palestinian front. President Abbas has declared the Oslo peace process dead, and the U.S. mediating role over, President Trump has broken with international consensus on Jerusalem, and pointedly not endorsed a two-state solution since coming to office, and Prime Minister Netanyahu has now hedged on his commitment to the end goal of a Palestinian state.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

View All Publications