Every year Crisis Group publishes two additional Watch List editions that complement its annual Watch List for the EU, most recently published in January 2020. These publications identify major crises and conflict situations where the European Union and its member states can generate stronger prospects for peace. The Spring Edition of the Watch List 2020 includes entries on Côte d’Ivoire, Myanmar, northern Syria, Yemen and Venezuela.
Jihadist group launched deadliest attack in country since 2016, and preparation for presidential election planned for Oct continued. Suspected Katiba Macina militants 11 June attacked army and gendarmerie post in Kafolo village near border with Burkina Faso in north, reportedly killing 12 soldiers, one assailant also killed; attack believed to be retaliation for Burkina Faso-Côte d’Ivoire joint counter-insurgency operation in border area in May. Govt next day promised response “commensurate to the attack”; 22 June said several people involved in attack, including group leader, arrested previous day. In north west, suspected gold diggers also 11 June opened fire on army outpost near locality of Gbéya, wounding two soldiers. Political manoeuvring continued ahead of presidential election. In joint statement published 3 June, former President Gbabgo’s Popular Ivorian Front (FPI) faction and former President Bédié’s Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) called on their militants to collaborate ahead of poll; amid ongoing power struggle within FPI, party president Pascal Affi N’Guessan 8 June however rejected move, said he had not been consulted. Doubts persisted over PM and ruling party Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace presidential candidate Amadou Gon Coulibaly’s capacity to campaign given his hospitalisation in France in past two months. Bédié 20 June announced his candidacy to PDCI’s nomination, due in late July. Amid surge in reported COVID-19 cases, govt mid-month reintroduced some restrictions, including prohibition of gatherings of over 50 people in economic capital Abidjan, and extended closure of borders and state of emergency until end of month.
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.
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 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