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.
Opposition leaders signalled support for former President Bédié, strengthening his challenge to President Ouattara’s party in 2020 elections. Following lower house of parliament’s approval late July, senate 2 Aug adopted bill to reform composition of electoral commission. Three opposition parties – Bédié’s Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire-African Democratic Rally (PDCI-RDA), Vox Populi and Guillaume Soro’s Rally for Côte d’Ivoire (RACI) – same day filed petition at Constitutional Council to repeal bill, claiming it does not guarantee commission’s independence. Constitutional Council 5 Aug rejected petition. Next day bill enacted into law. Civil society and opposition parties, including PDCI-RDA and Popular Ivorian Front (FPI), party founded by former President Gbagbo, said they would boycott new electoral commission. Following late July meeting between former Presidents Bédié and Gbagbo in Brussels, Bédié 1 Aug said that in coming weeks he intended to form opposition platform to challenge Ouattara’s party in 2020 elections. Youth movement Pan-African Congress for Justice and People’s Equality (COJEP) 18 Aug elected as president former youth leader Charles Blé Goudé, former Gbagbo ally whom International Criminal Court acquitted of crimes against humanity during civil war. After PDCI-RDA delegation went to The Hague and met Goudé, latter 21 Aug said COJEP would join opposition platform. Human rights NGO Amnesty International 6 Aug said govt crackdown on dissent had led to arrest of fourteen activists in 2019 and called on authorities to end attacks against civil society activists and opposition members.
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.
Côte d’Ivoire is on the verge of a new civil war. This tragedy can only be avoided if Africans and the wider international community stand firm behind the democratically elected president, Alassane Ouattara, and he launches an initiative for reconciliation and a transitional government of national unity.
The second round of the Côte d’Ivoire presidential elections risks degenerating into violent confrontation unless an appeal for calm is launched.
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
Originally published in Jeune Afrique
Among the three principal politicians who have struggled for power in Côte d’Ivoire since 1995, President Alassane Ouattara, 73, is the only one still in the game and is most likely to win the presidential election on 25 October. The significance of this election is not so much the electoral outcome – which seems to be a foregone conclusion – as much as the political choices that will result from a renewed Ouattara mandate. Without meaningful political, security and judicial reforms, Côte d’Ivoire could face yet another prolonged period of violence.
Originally published in Daily Maverick