Current treatment of Muslims of Arabic and non-African origins who have migrated from elsewhere; availability of sate protection for them from racist attacks (2000-March 2001) [CIV36328.E]

Specific information on the situation of Muslims of Arab and non-African origins could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Referring to the Islamic community in Côte d'Ivoire in general, 2000 Country Reports stated the following:

The country's Islamic communities are subject to a great deal of societal discrimination.
Some persons consider all Muslims as foreigners, fundamentalists, or terrorists. Muslim citizens often are treated as foreigners by their fellow citizens, including government officials, because most Muslims are members of northern ethnic groups that also are found in other African countries from which there has been substantial immigration into the country.
Muslims also frequently were discriminated against because of ethnic origin or political leanings. Many Muslims are northerners and tended to support the presidential candidacy of Ouattara (March 2001, Sect. 5).

A 6 November 2000 New York Times article, which may be of interest, describes the "deadly political clashes", which occurred in the aftermath of the October 2000 Côte d'Ivoire's presidential elections, in the following terms:

The first targets were mostly Muslim immigrants from Mali and Burkina Faso. Many had worked for decades here as fishermen or farmers, but two years ago they found themselves being expelled by Ivoirians, who said they were reclaiming their waters or land.
Eventually, people from the Muslim north became targets of official harassment.
Police officers began stopping Muslims, about 40 percent of the country's population, checking their national identity cards and sometimes confiscating them. That was just one of the many increasing forms of official discrimination.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000. 2001. Washington, DC: US Department of State. [Accessed 22 Mar. 2001]

The New York Times. 6 November 2000. Norimitsu Onishi. 2 Religions in Ivory Coast. [Accessed 22 Mar. 2001]

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential 2000.

Africa Research Bulletin 2000.

2000 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. Electronic version.

IRB Databases.

Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent. 2000.

La Lettre hebdomadaire de la FIDH 2000.


Resource Centre county file. 2000-2001. Côte d'Ivoire.

World News Connection (WNC).

Internet sites including:

Amnesty International Online.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Online.


Fraternité Matin.

Ivoire Soir.

Minorities at Risk Project.

Panafrican News Agency (PANA).

Le Jour.