AFRICA/COTE D'IVOIRE - "Too many weapons in circulation and too many unemployed feed insecurity", says the Bishop of Man
Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - "There is a climate of generalized insecurity especially in the villages on the border with Liberia, some of which have been recently attacked by armed gangs. We do not know who causes all this, although at the moment the situation is calm", says to Fides His Exc. Mgr. Gaspard Beby Gnéba, Bishop of Man, in western Côte d'Ivoire, where in recent days at least 4 people have lost their lives in inter-communal violence.
The Ivory Coast has just come out from a bloody civil war between the men of former President Laurent Gbagbo and the current President Alassane Ouattara, who was installed in power by force (after winning the presidential election, certified as being correct by international observers) with the help of UN troops and the French. Gbagbo refused to recognize the electoral defeat. After the assault carried out to the presidential residence in Abidjan, the former President is now in custody awaiting trial. Both Gbagbo’s supporters and Ouattara’s are accused of having committed crimes against civilians.
In the west of Côte d'Ivoire various militias have proliferated recently. "The problem - said Mgr. Gnéba - is the fact that the program of disarmament and recovery of the weapons that are in the hands of former combatants has not yet begun. Added to this is - continues the Bishop of Man - the high unemployment that affects the population. In towns and villages the problem of unemployment is felt, especially by young people who had taken up arms during the recent political crisis".
Côte d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer of cocoa. The government has decided to reinstate a public authority to regulate the production and to establish a minimum price between 50 and 60% of the international price which will be guaranteed to the farmers.
"I think this is a positive measure - said Mgr.Gnéba -. If the price of cocoa increases, this will help farmers, and since much of the local population is made up of farmers, these measures should help reduce the number of unemployed. What needs to be remembered is that during the war, several plantations were abandoned and now labour is required in order to start producing again. It is therefore necessary to create the conditions so many unemployed and displaced persons in the region return to work in the fields", concluded the Bishop of Man (LM) (Agenzia Fides 04/11/2011)
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