Ivorians express concern as economic paralysis causes widespread suffering

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (PANA) – A growing number of Ivorians are expressing grave concern about the economic paralysis caused by the post-electoral crisis and fear the worst could be disastrous.

Already banks in in the country have shut down,money transfers to inhabitants is impossible and various international organisations have turned off their assistance.

"They want to kill us and after that who will they govern?" asks Mrs Kouman Bessé, a big trader, who expressed anger against the stakeholders for the deepening crisis prevailing in the West African state since the 28 November, 2011 presidential run-off election.

"They want to deprive us of everything, even our money which is in the banks. Today, our business is no longer good. We don’t know where to turn. So, where will they lead us?"

Côte d’Ivoire has been thrown into a deepening crisis following the controversial November 2010 polls that has been claimed by incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara.

The National Electoral Commission declared Ouattara the winner of the vote but the Constitutional Commission reversed the verdict after annulling hundreds of thousands of votes from Ouattara's northern stronghold and declared Gbagbo the winner.

But the UN, which was to certify the vote, said despite the annulment of those votes, Ouattara still won.

The African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have led a chorus of condemnations of Gbagbo who has refused to hand power to Ouattara.

The crisis has generated a situation, which is getting worse by the day, in families where workers have not yet received their January salary because the country’s financial institutions are not functioning.

“So far, I have not yet paid my rent, my electricity and water bills. I cannot pay for medicines for my children and even ensure their feeding. My wife is obliged to make her best to find something to eat at home. This is very hard to bear and I imagine that it will be more dramatic if nothing is done in the few days to come,” said Dr Kouassam, teacher in an Abidjan University.

Worst of all, those who have their parents abroad, particularly Europe, cannot receive money from them because of the closure of the networks of money transfer.

"My mother living in France has learned about what is happening here and had wanted to send me money, but she couldn’t make the transfer because money transfer from Europe to Côte d’Ivoire is presently impossible. What politicians are making us to suffer is serious," said Mrs Sidibé Hadja, who works in the communication sector.
-0- PANA GB/JSG/MSA/MA 19Feb2011

19 february 2011 12:12:26

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