Ivory Coast power struggle, violence prompts protest in Chicago

June 30, 2012 at 12:53 am


Tiffany Lane/MEDILL Gilbert Lohoua (right) said he cannot reach his family in the western Ivory Coast and fears they may be killed.

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While most of the world’s attention was focused on Northern Africa – uprisings in Algeria, Egypt and now Libya – other parts of Africa have been in turmoil.

Unrest in the Ivory Coast brought about a protest in Chicago this week.

“We want freedom in our land!”

Protestors chanted the words of independence for the country’s former president, Laurent Gbagbo, to be released from prison and restored to power.

Gbagbo refused to step down from presidency during months of violence after a November 28 run-off election against rival Alassane Outtara. Reports vary on casualties, but the latest figures say 3,000 have been killed, and about a million people displaced.

U.N. and French troops were in a 15-day conflict with Gbagbo and he was finally arrested on April 11, when he was forcibly removed from his home.

“The French soldiers and U.N. soldiers will help Alassane rebels to push the election freedom away,” said Sekre Kouakou, organizer of the rally.

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