By Kyle Petersen

Yannick in Cote d'Ivoire

In February, Dubé Juggling Blog featured an interview with Yannick Foe, a Cameroon-born juggler based in the volatile West African nation of Cote d’Ivoire. When we talked to Yannick in February, Cote d’Ivoire was still reeling from November’s hotly contested presidential election. Although the international community recognized that former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara had won the election, incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refused to admit defeat, prompting months of bitter sectarian and political violence.

We remained in contact with Yannick throughout the conflict. Despite the intense violence, Yannick continued to juggle every day. In March, around the height of the violence, Yannick wrote the following:

Currently the country’s situation is very serious and many citizens are leaving the country. I would like to leave too, but I don’t know how.

I am well and family back home are okay, but I have a real fear that drives me now and I’m worried about the situation of the country and our future here. It is difficult to live with these killings.

Each day the situation continues to get worse and according to rumors, there will soon clash of the two governments and it’s very scary.

In April, President Gbagbo was captured by the forces of Mr. Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of November’s election. Although violence still continues, it appears the worst is over. As a new regime takes power in Cote d’Ivoire, there is hope for stability and a return to normalcy. In response, Yannick wrote the following on his Facebook page:

Hello my fellow jugglers,

I pray to God to grant me life after what I saw before my eyes in the post election crisis that took place in Cote d’Ivoire. I thought I would lose my life, because there is a shortage of hope, but I am still here thanks to God.

Our thoughts go out to Yannick, his family, and all those effected by violence and political instability throughout the world.

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