Refugees Magazine Issue 106 (Focus : 1996 in review) - The way of life in Peacetown

Refugees Magazine, 1 December 1996

By Francis Kaptindé

The name of this village, nestled among palm groves, reflects its way of life: Peacetown. Located 400 kms west of Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d'Ivoire, Peacetown is the antithesis of the murderous fighting that has been tearing Liberia apart for more than six years. Here, the houses are decked with flowers and large signs at the entrance of the village welcome visitors.

Peacetown was founded by the survivors of an attack on the village of Tai, 80 kms further south, carried out by the Liberian Peace Council in June 1995. The attack resulted in 32 dead and caused other refugees to flee. In their flight, the refugees halted in the region of Guiglo. Peacetown was born.

Here oil lamps are used for light. No one dies of hunger. There are no beggars. People farm and tend their little flocks. And,occasionally, they do business. The maquis, those cheap restaurants so famous in many West African countries, are numerous in Peacetown. So, one may taste "bicycle chicken" at the Silver and Gold Restaurant, rice with tomato and cassava sauce at the Kings and Queens or at the Potato Green Soup.

However, Peacetown is not free of problems. Medicines are in short supply or are sold at exorbitant prices. However, churches of the most varied denominations abound and are never empty on the Lord's day. God watches over Peacetown.

Source: Refugees Magazine Issue 106 (1996)