January 12, 2011 Institute for British-Irish Studies // University College Dublin
The October 2010 elections in Côte d’Ivoire were supposed to bring lasting peace to a country that has been split since a rebellion of predominantly northern forces in September 2002. Instead, disagreement over the electoral results has pushed the country back to the brink of civil war. The Ivorian electoral debacle adds to the long list of failed peace agreements and initiatives that have been undertaken since the 2002 violent rebellion. The main objective of this paper is to analyze why restoring peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire has proved to be so difficult. On the basis of this analysis, it will be shown that the Ivorian electoral debacle should not have come as a surprise because the same dynamics and factors that were responsible for the failure of previous peace agreements and initiatives are again at play....
March 16, 2010 African Journal on Conflict Resolution // African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes
The world-wide surge in the number and violence of open conflicts revolving around ethnic or religious identities towards the end of the 20th century is a powerful reminder that communal identities are not a remnant of the past but a potent force in contemporary politics. After three decades of independence, ethnicity is more central than ever to the political process of many African countries. Africa has had more than its fair share of ethnic dissent which has sometimes plummeted states into civil war as was experienced in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and reached frightening proportions in Rwanda and now Sudan. Political openings and multiparty elections have led to the formation of innumerable overtly or covertly ethnic political parties, which serve more often to increase civil strife of which the most recent addition to the long list in Africa is Kenya. Africa’s ethnic disturbances have occurred more within national borders, thus giving rise to unstable domestic systems. This paper attempts to address these ethnic issues by assessing certain conflict spots as opposed to areas of relative calm in Africa. The assessment of states on both sides of the divide (i.e. cooperation and conflict) is done in the hope that trends that lead to conflict as well as those that lead to cooperation can be identified. In order to establish these patterns of cooperation and conflict, it became pertinent to use a broad range of case studies, notably, Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa, Uganda and Côte d’Ivoire. The result of this study tells that the lack or presence of equity and justice (components of good governance), high literacy levels and an external threat, are factors which strengthen or diminish possibilities of ethnic conflict....
November 17, 2008 German Institute of Global and Area Studies
Half a century after independence, African elites, at least those in conflict‐ridden countries,
often live in constant fear for their life. Real or invented coup attempts, political
assassinations, beatings of opposition leaders, the distribution of death lists, etc. have a
profoundly traumatizing and self‐perpetuating effect. Purges, not least in the security
apparatus, are not uncommon, particularly after changes in government, be they peaceful or
violent. These purges come at a cost: the excluded elites are frequently tempted to use
violence to come back into the “dining room”—and the excluding government tries to
prevent reentry by all means.
This contribution draws a dense picture of elite (in)security in three African countries
(Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia). A comparative analysis of elite security
needs and devices is undertaken, permitting the author to draw some preliminary
conclusions: The ineffectiveness of state institutions (presidential guards, etc.) in breaking
the insecurity trap by providing special elite‐protection services is obvious. The record of
private security services is most debatable and efforts by international actors need to be
looked at more closely: UN peacekeepers can be effective when they are sufficient in number
and have the appropriate mandate. The record of French interventions in former colonies has
over time become ever more ambivalent and has lost any preventive meaning....
Young people are susceptible to being used as perpetrators of conflicts and civil disorders, yet they remain the most vulnerable and the most affected in post conflict communities. However, young people are also the greatest resource to achieving reconciliation and reconstruction. This is because of their innovation, energy, enthusiasm and exuberance.
Focusing on Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire this article argues that it is therefore imperative to massively invest in youth development in post conflict settings in order to prevent reoccurrence of crisis and to ensure that their energies are channelled towards sustainable development. The author highlights the key challenges of youth in post-conflict West Africa; suggest priority actions to be taken by governments and their partners to improve the status of youth in post-conflict West Africa; and evolve strategies for reintegration, reconciliation and rehabilitation in post-conflict West Africa. Areas recommended for further focus include:
* investment priorities for youth development
* train, retrain and recruit teachers
* research, science and technology
* girl’s education
* providing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive
* scholarships for deserving young people
* integrate HIV/AIDS into education curriculum
* youth friendly health services....
March 26, 2008 Annual Convention of the International Studies Association // Centre for the Study of Civil War // International Peace Research Institute Oslo
The civil war that erupted in 2002 in Cote d’Ivoire split the country in half corresponding to the religious divide between the mainly Muslim north and the mainly Christian south. Cote d’Ivoire’s neighbor Ghana is situated on the same ‘civilizational fault line’ between a Muslim northern part and a Christian south, but no violent north-south mobilization has occurred. Apart from the cultural divide, there are also other striking parallels in conflict risk profiles between the two neighbors. Why have the conflict trajectories in the two countries been so different? This paper compares the way religious polarization played out in the two cases, to investigate which interactive factors can explain the outbreak of armed conflict in Cote d’Ivoire and the relative peace in Ghana. The two cases clearly illuminate that the existence of a religious divide, in and of itself, does not predetermine bloodshed, but that political strategies, religious concentration and reinforcing cleavages can act as intervening variables that help explain the difference in outcome....
Popular revolt continued to convulse the Arab world in February. The rapid spread and escalation of unrest underlined the magnitude of events, but their pace makes the direction of change uncertain.
After almost three weeks of massive protests Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on 11 February. The Supreme Military Council took control and promised presidential and parliamentary elections within six months. On 22 February a new civilian cabinet was sworn in.
Just days after Mubarak's downfall protests broke out in Libya against Muammar Qaddafi's four-decade rule. Hundreds of civilians were feared killed and thousands injured as Qaddafi launched a brutal crackdown, prompting senior members of the regime and military to defect. By the end of the month Libya was in the throes of a full-scale rebellion, with large parts of the country under opposition control. The UN Security Council unanimously voted to impose sanctions and refer Libya to the International Criminal Court.
Protests intensified in Yemen, where dozens were killed in daily clashes between protesters and security forces from the middle of the month. Demonstrations for political reform in Bahrain also saw several protesters killed by security forces. Following international condemnation of the crackdown Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa ordered the withdrawal of security forces and offered dialogue with the opposition. In Afghanistan, the standoff continued between President Hamid Karzai and the opposition over the flawed September parliamentary election. A controversial special tribunal set up by Karzai - which the opposition condemns as unconstitutional - has started recounting votes in several provinces. Three Muscovite tourists were killed in a guerrilla attack on a North Caucasus ski resort, one of several attacks in the region's Kabardino-Balkaria Republic. The attack underlined the degree to which the previously relatively peaceful republic has become a target of Islamic guerrilla activity.
Conflict in Somalia escalated as government troops backed by AU peacekeepers battled against Islamic militant al-Shabaab in Mogadishu, and Ethiopian troops were reportedly involved in border clashes. In Somaliland, tensions increased in oil-rich Sool, Sanaag and Cayn region as government forces fought with rebel militia.
The collapse of a six-year ceasefire led to heightened tensions in Côte d'Ivoire and further warnings of an outbreak of civil war. The situation in Thailand also deteriorated as hostilities broke out along the border with Cambodia in the disputed area near Preah Vihear temple. Compromised elections in Uganda saw President Yoweri Museveni win a fourth term....
Historic events in the Arab world gripped the world’s attention in January. In Tunisia weeks of escalating riots and demonstrations over dire economic conditions, corruption and government repression culminated in the ouster of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on 14 January. He was replaced by an interim government which announced the country’s first free elections since independence.
The direction of Tunisia’s transition, and its significance for the region, are not yet clear. But, assuming a successful transition, this could mark the first genuine popular revolt leading to a democratic government in the Arab world.
Inspired by the Tunisian uprising yet fuelled by their own long-standing grievances, hundreds of thousands took to the streets across Egypt towards the end of the month, protesting against authoritarian rule and poor living standards, and calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down. Over 135 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured during the initial police response. The army was deployed at the end of the month to curb increasing chaos and looting, but vowed not to use force against the protesters. Events in Tunisia and Egypt have fuelled anti-regime protests elsewhere, including in Yemen, Jordan, Algeria and Sudan.
In the South of Sudan, preliminary results of the landmark self-determination referendum indicate 99 per cent of voters in favour of secession. The peaceful conduct of the vote drew praise from international observers and President Omar al-Bashir pledged to support an independent South.
Elsewhere in Sudan the situation deteriorated, however, as clashes between the government and Darfur rebel groups intensified. A deadly attack at Moscow’s main airport killing at least 35 people was blamed on a suicide bomber from the Caucasus. In Albania, three people were shot dead and over a hundred injured during clashes between police and opposition supporters during anti-government protests.
CrisisWatch again identifies a conflict risk alert for Côte d’Ivoire as former president Laurent Gbagbo refused for a second month to hand over power to the elected president Alassane Ouattara....
Five actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and two improved in December 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch released today.
Côte d’Ivoire was gripped by political crisis as incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power after losing to rival Alassane Outtara in the late-November presidential runoff polls. Post-election violence claimed thTensions remained high on the Korean peninsula just one month after North Korea shelled Yŏnp’yŏng Island in South Korea. Pyongyang threatened “brutal consequences beyond imagination” against the South as Seoul held live-fire artillery drills on the island. Russia and China called for a calming of tensions on the peninsula, but South Korea refused to cancel the drills amid domestic pressure to stand firm against the North.
Nigeria was hit by several deadly bomb attacks and ongoing Islamist militant violence over the month. At least 80 people were killed in coordinated explosions in the central city of Jos on 24 December. e lives of at least 170 people and more than 15,000 fled to neighbouring countries.
In Pakistan, the Taliban launched a wave of suicide attacks during the month that left scores dead. Many of those killed were locals supporting efforts against the militants. The situation in Guinea improved as former Prime Minister Cellou Diallo conceded defeat in the November presidential runoff and Alpha Condé was sworn in as the country’s first democratically elected president. Following a tense election period and concerted international efforts to avert renewed conflict, world leaders commended Guinea for a “historic achievement”.
Iraq ’s parliament unanimously approved a new 42-member government under incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on 21 December. The move ends nine months of political deadlock and protracted negotiations over government formation following parliamentary elections in March.
CrisisWatch also notes a marked deterioration in Mexico’s drug-related violence over the course of the past year, despite the killing of several high-profile cartel leaders...
Nine actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and one improved in November 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch released today.
Tensions surged on the Korean peninsula as two South Korean civilians and two marines were killed when North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at Yeonpyeong Island, where South Korea was conducting military drills. Haiti ’s late month presidential elections ended in confusion, as several opposition candidates called for the vote to be annulled amid reports of fraud, and thousands of people took to the streets in protest. International observers from the OAS called the vote valid despite “serious irregularities”, but tensions remain high. Ivory Coast saw deadly pre-election clashes on the streets of the capital Abidjan between rival supporters of the two presidential candidates, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. The tightly contested 28 November run-off and delays in announcing the preliminary results has led to heightened tensions between the two camps and fears of further violence.
In Guinea, preliminary results declaring opposition leader Alpha Condé winner of the 7 November second round presidential election sparked three days of violence resulting in at least four deaths and dozens injured. CrisisWatch also noted deteriorated situations in Burundi, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Egypt and Western Sahara.
In Niger, the situation improved as results from the 31 October referendum showed 90 per cent of voters in favour of the new constitution, paving the way for January 2011 elections and a return to civilian rule.
Once again this month CrisisWatch describes violence against civilians in North and South Kivu provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo....
Côte d’Ivoire has a history of aid volatility linked to its rumbling political crisis, and aid declined significantly after a failed coup in 2001 degenerated into rebel uprisings in the North and West of the country, that led to the destruction of much of the public service infrastructure in these regions. Despite a peace deal with the main rebel group in 2007, the political landscape has remained uncertain with elections, scheduled for October 2006 repeatedly postponed.
Aid peaks in 2002 and 2009 reflect substantial debt rescheduling of US$1.2 billion in 2002 and US$3.1 billion in 2009. In real terms, aid fell to low levels between 2003 and 2007 before tripling in 2008.
Humanitarian aid, in contrast to other official development assistance (ODA), has grown relatively steadily from a low of US$13.6 million in 2000 to a peak of US$104.8 million in 2008. Humanitarian aid fell however in 2009 to just US$34.8 million....
Cxc3xb4te d'Ivoire relies on oil, natural gas and hydropower to satisfy energy consumption demand. In addition to satisfying domestic demand, Cxc3xb4te d'Ivoire's oil exports bolster overall economic activity in the country, and represents 28 percent of the country's total export revenue. According to the World Bank, oil exports have surpassed cocoa exports, which traditionally have been the mainstay of Cote d'Ivoire's economy. Cxc3xb4te d'Ivoire's oil production, which is primarily located offshore, should increase slightly in 2007 and 2008....
Following the agreement signed on 26 March between Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and Forces nouvelles leader Guillaume Soro providing for Soro's appointment as interim prime minister, the Council is expected to adopt a new resolution amending its previous resolutions on the peace process in Cxc3xb4te d'Ivoire (and especially resolution 1721) to bring# them into conformity with the Ouagadougou agreement signed between the parties on 4 March.
April 29, 2011 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Since 29th November 2010, UNHCR, in collaboration with partners, has individually registered 45,178 Ivorian refugees in UNHCR's proGres database. Meanwhile, in response to a mass-influx of refugees into Liberia, an additional 112,800 refugees have been registered through rapid-response emergency registration. The rapid-response registration figures are currently undergoing a verification process and are gradually being consolidated into UNHCRs proGres database, thereby being reflected as indivdually registered refugees....
This tropical West African nation, once the most prosperous in the region, is sliding even deeper into civil war. At press time, after a weeklong street battle for Abidjan, the commercial capital of 5 million, there were reports of a fragile settlement. But the vicious violence could break out again at any time. Mainstream Western press accounts included depressingly familiar explanations: the stolen presidential election in November, rising ethnic conflict. The explanations were accurate, as far as they went.
At first glance, this humid eastern zone, thick with tropical forest, may seem like a frontier, on the fringes of the modern world. In fact, Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s largest producer of cocoa beans. Giant global industries are based on cocoa; any chocolate bar sold in the United States is likely to include products from here. What looks like forest turns out to be mixed plantations carved out by hard-working small growers using axes and hand tools, who have to wait patiently, living off their other subsistence crops like bananas and manioc, for three to five years until the cocoa trees bear their first golden pods....
January 4, 2011 Foreign Policy Magazine // International Crisis Group
Across the globe today, you'll find almost three dozen raging conflicts, from the valleys of Afghanistan to the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the streets of Kashmir. But what are the next crises that might erupt in 2011? Here are a few worrisome spots that make our list. [Captions provided by International Crisis Group]
I'm checking in from West Africa, where I've been working with women in three neighboring countries, all recently torn apart by civil wars: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast. Surely you remember these conflicts. Liberia's war came in three successive waves, lasting from 1989 to 2003. Sierra Leone's war started in 1991 when guerrillas of the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone, trained in Liberia, invaded their own country. The war drew many players and lasted a decade, until January 2002. In Ivory Coast, the civil war began in 2002 when northern rebels attempted a coup to oust President Laurent Gbagbo; after international intervention, a treaty was signed in 2003. Today, we've been told, these countries are no longer war zones. Accords have been signed. Peacekeeping forces are on duty or close at hand. The United Nations and international aid agencies are assisting "recovery." Some arms have been surrendered; some refugees have returned from exile....
After a feasibility study conducted throughout the sub-region, representatives of seven West African countries in 1998 officially launched WANEP in Accra Ghana. They created WANEP as a mechanism to harness peacebuilding initiatives and to strengthen collective interventions that were already bearing good fruits in Liberia, the Northern Region of Ghana, and Sierra Leone.
Côte d'Ivoire security forces and a state-backed militia are creating a climate of fear that is preventing hundreds of thousands of people displaced by post-election violence from returning to their homes, Amnesty International said in a report released today.
"We want to go home, but we can't" Côte d'Ivoire's continuing crisis of displacement and insecurity describes how ethnically targeted killings and attacks by the government security forces and a militia composed of Dozos - traditional hunters - have left the population unable to leave the relative safety of temporary camps.
"The stalemate that is keeping more than half a million people from their homes cannot be allowed to continue," said Gaëtan Mootoo, Amnesty International's West Africa researcher.
"The authorities must act to establish a clear chain of command and disband militia groups who, despite the end of the conflict, continue to spread fear among the population."
Amnesty International's report details how government security forces and the Dozo continued to kill and otherwise target people solely because of their ethnic group even after the inauguration of President Alassane Ouattara....
This is Security Council Report’s fourth Cross-Cutting Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. Nine months have passed since our third report came out in late October 2010, but much has happened in the area of protection of civilians during this period. The crisis in Libya and the post-electoral violence in Côte d’Ivoire stand out as two of the most important protection challenges for the Security Council. But there were also continuing protection concerns in other situations such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Somalia and Sudan. Most recently, the situations in Syria and Yemen have caused growing concern among many Council members.
The present report involves a change to our cycle of reporting. Our previous cross-cutting reports were published every 12 months towards the end of the year. The rationale for changing the cycle flows from the fact that our statistical analysis compares calendar years, so it seemed that an earlier publication date each year would make more sense and be more useful to our readers. Our intention had also been to publish this report in time for the Security Council’s open debate on protection of civilians in May. But unfortunately this became impossible when the date of the debate was moved forward at the last minute. The result of this change in timing is that the present report covers less ground than our previous ones on this issue, although the statistical analysis still covers one full calendar year. In the future, we will be publishing a report every 12 months. Our next cross-cutting report on protection of civilians can therefore be expected in the first half of 2012....
I consider it a singular honour to have been invited today by Chatham House
to address this august forum. The Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS), which I represent, is a regional organisation which has,
over the years, gained your attention only for the unfortunate reasons of state
implosion and instability caused by bad governance and marginalisation. I
therefore welcome the opportunity to throw further light on its objectives,
challenges, and achievements, which factors have effectively brought
together fifteen West African states in the enterprise of improving upon the
living standards of 230 million people as well as integrating them.
The term ‘Chatham House Rule’ is today an internationally-accepted cliché
that this Institute has contributed to international diplomacy discourse, a
reference norm in rigorous and policy-oriented exchanges on global peace
and security. I therefore view your invitation to lead today’s discourse about
‘Democracy in the context of Regional Integration in West Africa’ as an
unique honour for me personally, and a recognition of ECOWAS as a leading
brand in regional integration.
Ladies and gentlemen, the evolution of ECOWAS can only be properly
understood against the backdrop of the fascinating history and circumstances
of West Africa since establishing contact with the world beyond its borders.
The fact that slavery, colonialism, as well as racial and economic
marginalisation, had left an intrinsic yearning for freedom, unity and solidarity
among peoples of African descent everywhere defines its wish to integrate its
states and peoples....
Following the arrest of Laurent Gbagbo, the former President of Côte d’Ivoire, on 11 April
2011, dozens of individuals have been arrested and are detained arbitrarily, without charge
or trial, in circumstances that contravene international fair trial standards.
An Amnesty International delegation that has just come back from a two week visit in Côte
d’Ivoire has interviewed on 15 June 2011 20 of 38 individuals who were held under a
restrictive form of house arrest at the Hotel Nouvelle Pergola (the Pergola) in Abidjan for
some two months. On 18 June 2011, 17 of them were released without charge. In the north
of the country, Laurent Gbagbo, his wife Simone Gbagbo, and Pascal Affi N’guessan, the
president of Laurent Gbagbo’s political party, the Ivoirian Popular Front (FPI), are being held
under house arrest in detention centres in Korhogo, Odienné and Bouna, respectively. A
number of military and police personnel are also being held in a military camp Korhogo, in
conditions that may be life-threatening. Unfortunately, despite several requests, the
organization was not given permission to visit individuals imprisoned or subject to house
arrest in Korhogo, Odienné and Bouna.
On 16 June 2011 Amnesty International has been able to discuss these cases in meetings
with the Minister of Justice, the Attorney General (Procureur de la République) and with
Young Jin Choi, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Côte
d’Ivoire and officials of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) at their
headquarters in Abidjan. Amnesty International remains concerned, however, that the
detentions do not meet international fair trial standards....
In his books The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries
Are Failing and What Can Be Done about It and Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places (cited henceforth
as BB and WGV, respectively), Paul Collier attempts to
bring African and other poor countries with problems of
“stuck” development back into the conversation of economists,
policymakers, and an educated nonspecialist readership. Book cover testimonials from The Economist, Larry
Summers, Larry Diamond, and New York Times columnist
Nicholas Krist of give a sense of the readership Collier
has targeted. Using analysis based on econometric studies
he has conducted with his research colleagues at Oxford
and the World Bank, he first tries to make sense of the
world’s “basket cases,” and then to propose policy interventions
that may help them to set themselves right.