Working Paper 22

Conflict, Cooperation and Integration: A West African example (Côte d'Ivoire)

Youssouf Diallo

Department ‘Integration and Conflict’

Year of publication

Number of pages

Working Paper 22

The paper deals with some interrelations between Fulbe pastoralists and Senufo agriculturalists in northern Côte d'Ivoire; especially the role played in these relations by hunters' associations whose intervention is closely linked with the growing loss of confidence in the state structures to bring security. The conditions and types of Fulbe migration from western Burkina Faso and Mali to northern Côte d'Ivoire are described. Côte d'Ivoire is regularly confronted with the meat shortages due to the urban growth. In the mid 1970s, the Ivorian state launched a number of livestock projects seeking to increase the national livestock production and to reduce the dependence on external markets. This policy increased pastoral migration in northern Côte d'Ivoire. Conflict and cooperation, two faces of the same coin, occured. Most conflicts between Fulbe pastoralists and Senufo farmers derive from crop damage and competition over natural resources. The state intervention to promote pastoral production exacerbated tensions between the two groups. Inter-ethnic conflict or the eviction of the Fulbe, for example in 1993, are described and analysed as a symptom of this political crisis that culminated in violence and attacks against foreigners after the recent presidential elections. The political sensitivity of the north is further explained in the light of particular historical events and as a result of the ethno-regional policy. Finally the recent political crisis is analysed as a global and identity problem that affects not only the northern region, but the country as a whole.

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