Cracks in the Ivory


EN MASSE: Anti-Gbagbo protesters march in Bouake

If any country embodied the spirit of pan-Africanism that swept the continent at the time of independence it was Ivory Coast. The country's vibrant cocoa and coffee industries were built on the sweat of laborers from French-speaking Mali and Burkina Faso and Anglophone Ghana and Nigeria. Millions of new arrivals helped make Abidjan, the commercial capital, one of Africa's most cosmopolitan cities. For many years even the term refugee was considered dirty because, in the words of founding President Félix Houphout-Boigny, citizens of neighboring African countries should be welcomed as "brothers." Not anymore. Today Ivorian society is split along ethnic lines...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!