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What now for reconciliatory efforts in Ivory Coast?

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SIA KAMBOU/AFP or licensors

Ivory Coast

After the return of Laurent Gbagbo and several Ivorian opposition figures to the country, national reconciliation seems to be well underway.

Except for Guillaume Soro, who was exiled in Europe and sentenced to life imprisonment last month for attempting to undermine state security.

But for political analyst Sylvain Nguessan, national reconciliation can only be achieved by including all the protagonists, including the Ivorian people.

''This matter of reconciliation in Ivory Coast should not be limited to the main actors of the Ivorian political scene, whether it is Laurent Gbagbo, Henri Konan Bedié, Alassane Ouattara, Guillaume Soro and so on. There are these actors but it is also necessary to involve the main victims of the Ivorian crisis. We know that the center and the west of Ivory Coast were the epicentre of the crisis that we experienced from 2002 to 2011. We should integrate Guillaume Soro as well as the main victims of the crisis. So Guillaume Soro should be involved in the name of the responsibilities he has assumed. He himself has claimed the leadership of the rebellion, so it is normal that he be involved in this reconciliation process'', he said.

A yes for reconciliation in Ivory Coast, this political analyst said. But he added that this will have to be translated into concrete acts of reparation, and not be limited to a slogan.

''When we talk about reconciliation, we need to go as far back as possible, as South Africa did, as Rwanda tried to do, so as to involve as many victims as possible, to hear them, and as far as possible for the state of Ivory Coast to be able to provide assistance, i.e., reparations, to these main victims. At this level, we could talk about reconciliation. Otherwise, if it is just a matter of having Bedie, Gbagbo, Ouattara and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro sit down together so that they can talk to each other... this political compromise is what Côte d'Ivoire needs, but it is not reconciliation. It is not because Messrs. Ouattara, Soro, Gbagbo, Bedie are going to talk to each other, that the widow of (...) who has lost practically everything during this crisis, is going to forget everything she has lived through. In my opinion, the discourse of our politicians, their meeting, their peaceful cohabitation, is a good thing but it is not the fundamental element. The fundamental element is that it is necessary to reach the main victims that are the populations of these localities.''

Increasingly isolated on the Ivorian political scene, Guillaume Soro denounces a "capture of the state" by the current government. For Sylvain Nguessan, the latter should change its strategy.

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