It has been almost a year after the West African nation was shaken by six months of violence and terror when former President Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power to Alassane Ouattara who won the November 2010 presidential elections. But Ivorian children are still trying to recover from the psychological and social trauma the unrest caused them.
“Children were major victims of the post-electoral violence. Many heard gunfire and shelling, saw people running, saw adults afraid and witnessed brutalities, fighting and killings,” says Désiré Koukoui, the director of the International Catholic Children’s Office (BICE) in Abidjan, an organisation protecting children’s rights.
“We are concerned that, if we don’t swiftly implement mechanisms to ‘repair’ the situation, to socialise children and families, we will be faced with a whole generation of problem cases in a few years from now, with a generation of young adults without a future,” warns Koukoui.
For more on this story, visit: The Lost Innocence of Cote d’Ivoire’s Children – IPS ipsnews.net.