Traditional Mechanisms of Conflict Resolution in Modern Africa: The Bodior Ritual and The Enduring Kroumen versus Lobi-Dagara Conflict in Southern Côte d’Ivoire

Alfred Babo, Fairfield University

Copyright 2018 The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University

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The article examines the unexplored challenging role of youth in the traditional approaches of conflict resolution in Africa. Using Côte d’Ivoire as a case study, this article explores the relationship between intergenerational roles and conflict resolution. Traditionalist anthropologists tend to found the strength of the customary mechanisms on the dexterity and knowledge of elders, but serious doubt remains about the effectiveness of this traditional practice. In Côte d’Ivoire, as young Kroumen challenge their own traditions of peacemaking, they hinder the efficiency of customary approaches to resolve the 1999 conflict between the Kroumen and the Lobi-Dagara. In 2006 the Kroumen ritual of Bodior was performed and was supposed to seal reconciliation and social cohesion after the deadly conflict but, recent fieldwork reveals lingering mistrust and tensions 10 years after this ritual.