Côte d'Ivoire | Freedom House

Freedom in the World

Freedom in the World 2017

Côte d'Ivoire


Freedom Status: 
Partly Free

Freedom in the World Scores

(1=Most Free, 7=Least Free)

Quick Facts

Press Freedom Status: 
Partly Free

Côte d’Ivoire continues to recover from over a decade of political turbulence and civil war. However, many of the war’s root causes—including questions of national identity, access to land, corruption, and impunity—remain. The administration of President Alassane Ouattara has done little to address persistent concerns that pro-Ouattara actors have not been prosecuted for crimes committed during the 2010–11 conflict.

Key Developments: 
  • In January, the International Criminal Court (ICC) began a long-awaited trial against former president Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé, both of whom stand accused of crimes against humanity relating to the 2010–11 conflict.
  • In May, the trial of former first lady Simone Gbagbo for crimes against humanity began in Abidjan, amid concerns raised by human rights watchdogs regarding the fairness of the proceedings.
  • In October, voters approved a new constitution that created the post of vice president as well as a Senate, and formally removed a provision that had once barred President Alassane Ouattara from office due to mixed-nationality parentage.
Executive Summary: 

In 2016, Côte d’Ivoire continued its progress towards peace and stability after some 15 years of political turbulence and civil war that peaked in a 2010–11 postelection crisis. In a sign of the return to normalcy, international sanctions, including an arms embargo, were formally lifted, and the United Nations is scheduled to withdraw its peacekeeping mission by mid-2017. President Ouattara has presided over four years of economic growth, though there are serious concerns that the boom has not benefited ordinary Ivorians.

Longstanding concerns about impunity, victor’s justice, and reconciliation persist. To date, only a handful of individuals have been put on trial for crimes committed during the 2010­–11 crisis.

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