Le scrutin présidentiel prévu pour le 31 octobre en Côte d’Ivoire suscite de nouvelles violences, dans un pays marqué par de profonds clivages politiques. Pour que ces élections se tiennent dans le calme, les différents acteurs politiques ivoiriens, accompagnés par des institutions régionales et continentales, devraient s’accorder sur un court report du scrutin.
Amid lull in post-election violence, President Ouattara took oath for controversial third term and opened dialogue with opposition. Opposition Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) leader and de facto opposition spokesperson Henri Konan Bédié 9 Dec dissolved National Transitional Council, created after Oct presidential election with view to forming transitional govt, called for national dialogue. During swearing-in ceremony, Ouattara 14 Dec mandated PM Hamed Bakayoko to resume dialogue with opposition, with stated aim to find consensus on reform of electoral commission ahead of 2021 legislative elections. Ouattara next day appointed PDCI dissident and presidential candidate in Oct election, Kouadio Konan Bertin, as national reconciliation minister. Opposition boycotted and sharply criticised inauguration: Bédié 7 Dec decried it as “non-event”, while exiled opposition figure, former PM Guillaume Soro, 13 Dec denounced “illegal and illegitimate” ceremony. Govt and opposition representatives, including Bédié, 21 Dec met in economic capital Abidjan, 29 Dec agreed to hold legislative elections in March 2021; disagreements persisted, however, on release of detained and return of exiled opposition leaders, and reform of electoral commission; political dialogue set to resume mid-Jan. Authorities 30 Dec released and placed under judicial supervision opposition leader and presidential candidate in Oct election Pascal Affi N’Guessan, in detention since early Nov on terrorism charges. Meanwhile, NGO Human Rights Watch 2 Dec urged authorities to “investigate the killing of more than 50 people” around Oct presidential election and stop “targeting opposition members through a flawed legal process”. Govt 4 Dec handed diplomatic and ordinary passports to former President Gbagbo, currently in Belgium following his 2019 acquittal of crimes against humanity by International Criminal Court (ICC), 9 Dec said Gbagbo should await end of ICC proceedings before returning to Côte d’Ivoire. Gbagbo’s wing of Ivorian Popular Front party 23 Dec announced end of its ten-year boycott of national elections, said party would take part in 2021 legislative elections.
Face à la percée jihadiste au Burkina Faso, porte ouverte sur les pays du Golfe de Guinée, ceux-ci craignent des attaques sur leurs territoires. Les Etats de la région devraient améliorer le partage du renseignement, renforcer les contrôles aux frontières et renouer un lien de confiance avec la population.
Working to reduce tensions in western Côte d’Ivoire, a flashpoint for ethnic, political and economic rivalries, is imperative to ensure lasting stability and pave the way for national reconciliation.
President Alassane Ouattara’s coalition is walking a dangerous path toward polarisation by repeating mistakes made by previous governments that could ultimately lead Côte d’Ivoire back to crisis.
Despite a marked improvement in economic governance and the holding of legislative elections in good security conditions on 11 December in Côte d’Ivoire, the divisions within the security forces carry a risk of violent confrontation while the victor’s justice targeting only former President Gbagbo’s followers hampers reconciliation.
Forced to fight five months for the power his November election should have given him peacefully, Côte d’Ivoire’s new president now faces multiple urgent challenges to keep the country from fragmenting.
[Ivorian Vice President] Duncan's resignation was most probably also a result of a failure to reach an agreement with President Alassane Ouattara on a presidential candidacy.
[Ouattara] has always been a unanimous choice within his own camp. But [running again] would be extremely dangerous, particularly vis-a-vis the opposition, which would find a common enemy.
The problem with the army [in Côte d'Ivoire] is structural disorder that can’t be sorted out with the punctual signing of cheques, even if the cheques are big.
This week’s summit of African and European leaders in Abidjan is a chance to find a win-win solution.
Originally published in IRIN
With the UK’s withdrawal from the EU now imminent, a dramatic power shift is changing the balances behind the scenes of the fifth African Union-European Union summit this week in Côte d’Ivoire. It is an opportunity for the EU to forge a new Africa strategy.
Originally published in Berlin Policy Journal
Jihadist groups have regrouped in the neglected hinterlands of Sahel countries and are launching attacks from them. To regain control of outlying districts, regional states must do far more to extend services and representation beyond recently recaptured provincial centres.
Originally published in Jeune Afrique