In Côte d'Ivoire, as early as 2002, the city of Bouaké had been occupied by rebel movements opposed to President Laurent Gbagbo, who won the ballot box two years earlier. Supported by neighboring Burkina Faso, these troops had taken control of the northern half of the country and made Bouaké their capital for more than ten years.

UN peacekeepers then oversaw the dividing line between the north and the south of the country. On November 6, 2004, the bombing of French troops from Operation Licorne had sealed in the collective imagination the name of Bouaké as "rebel city".

>> See: Reporters: "Fifteen years after the bombing of Bouaké, the mysteries of a trial"

Big works

Twenty years after the start of the first Ivorian crisis, the city has changed. The war years left their mark and delayed the development of the metropolis. "In ten years of politico-military crisis, we have gone back thirty years", deplores Nicolas Djibo, the mayor of Bouaké.  

To make up for lost time, a series of major projects has been launched. All the inhabitants of Bouaké now want to turn the page and prepare the city to host the African Cup of Nations in 2023. The veterans are gradually reintegrating into civilian life. The capital of the Baoule country intends to be reborn and to become the Bouaké of yesteryear, a city where life is good.

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