Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 17 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Hildegard of Bingen
home iconChurch
line break icon

Disputed election in Ivory Coast brings pope’s prayer for peace


Antoine Mekary | Aleteia

"May humanity listen – this is my plea – to the cry of children, whose mouths proclaim the glory of God (cf. Ps 8:3). Only by wiping away their tears will the world recover its dignity."

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 11/15/20

Pope Francis urges the re-establishment of a "climate of mutual trust and dialogue."

Pope Francis turned his attention on November 15 to the dire situation in Ivory Coast, which is celebrating today a national “Day of Peace,” even as post-election violence continues.

After praying the midday Angelus, the pope noted the “social and political tensions which, unfortunately, have caused many victims.”

He continued:

I join in prayer to obtain the gift of national harmony from the Lord, and I exhort all sons and daughters of that dear country to cooperate responsibly for reconciliation and peaceful coexistence. I encourage in particular the different political actors to re-establish a climate of mutual trust and dialogue, in the quest for just solutions that protect and promote the common good.

The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, registered 8,000 people as having fled the country – half of them to neighboring Liberia – and the rest to Ghana, Guinea, and Togo.

Here is a summary of the main developments in the conflict, drawn from The Economist:

President Alassane Ouattara declared he’d won a third term on October 31, but the election was boycotted by the opposition.

Ouattara came to power in 2011, but already that election was disputed and violent. During his presidency, the economy has grown, however in 2016, Ouattara forced changes to the constitution and claims that his presidential terms restarted from that date, meaning he had another two (total of four) terms.

He declared that he would run again last August and several others were blocked from running; deadly protests have been ongoing.

When voting began, as the opposition was boycotting, some one in five polling stations were kept from opening. Nevertheless, Ouattara says he took 94% of the vote.

This resulted in the opposition setting up its own government, being led by a former president, Henri Konan Bedie, 86, ostensibly to organize another election. Bedie’s house is surrounded by security forces.

Tensions between rival factions and ethnic groups are high, with protests in various cities resulting in deaths.

International mediation is desperately needed, says Arsène Brice Bado of the Jesuit University in Abidjan.

Ivory Coast has a mix of religions, with Muslims making up about 43% of the population, Catholics about 17%, and other Christians another 17%. As well, there are five main ethnic groups.

Read more:
Ivory Coast’s New Cardinal Intends to Advance Peace in his Country

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.