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Côte d’Ivoire

CrisisWatch Côte d’Ivoire

Unchanged Situation

Former President Gbagbo returned from ten-year exile, sparking localised clashes between his supporters and security forces, and deadly attacks targeted military in north. Gbagbo 17 June landed in economic capital Abidjan, ending years-long exile in Europe, following his acquittal of crimes against humanity by International Criminal Court (ICC); ICC proceedings related to 2010-2011 electoral violence which pitted his supporters against those of current President Ouattara, and left over 3,000 dead. Various public figures welcomed Gbagbo at Abidjan airport, including senior representatives from his Ivoirian Popular Front (FPI) party, rival FPI faction leader Pascal Affi N’Guessan, and delegates from former President Bédié’s Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire; no govt representatives however attended welcoming ceremony. Gbagbo same day addressed his supporters at his 2010 presidential campaign headquarters in Abidjan’s Attoban neighbourhood, said he was “their soldier and would remain on duty”; commitment goes against Ouattara’s willingness to see Gbagbo retiring from politics. Clashes same day erupted between Gbagbo supporters celebrating his return and security forces in Abidjan; police used tear gas to disperse pro-Gbagbo supporters in Port-Bouët and Koumassi neighbourhoods, and FPI said security forces had arrested 40 party supporters. Gbagbo 20 June expressed “concerns over the perpetuation of violence”, called on govt to “give a chance to peace”; 27 June returned to his hometown Mama, where thousands of supporters had gathered to welcome him; next day decried ICC as “not serious”. Meanwhile, court 23 June sentenced in absentia former PM and rebel leader Guillaume Soro to life in prison on charges of plotting coup against Ouattara. Suspected jihadists launched attacks in north near border with Burkina Faso, killing one soldier in raid on military post in Tougbo town 7 June and three others in ambush on army patrol near Téhini town 12 June.
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Reports & Briefings

In The News

14 Jul 2020
[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. Deutsche Welle

Rinaldo Depagne

Deputy Program Director, Africa & Project Director, West Africa
10 Jul 2020
[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. Al Jazeera

Rinaldo Depagne

Deputy Program Director, Africa & Project Director, West Africa
9 Feb 2017
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. Financial Times

Rinaldo Depagne

Deputy Program Director, Africa & Project Director, West Africa

Latest Updates

Q&A / Africa

Retour de Laurent Gbagbo en Côte d’Ivoire : une nouvelle occasion de réconciliation

Acquitté le 31 mars 2021 par la Cour pénale internationale, l’ancien président Laurent Gbagbo est libre de retourner en Côte d’Ivoire. Dans ce Q&A, l’expert de Crisis Group Wendyam Hervé Lankoandé analyse les enjeux et les conditions de ce retour, prévu le 17 juin.

Also available in English
Op-Ed / Africa

How Europe’s Panic over Migration and Terrorism Is a Big Opportunity for Africa

This week’s summit of African and European leaders in Abidjan is a chance to find a win-win solution.

Originally published in IRIN

Op-Ed / Africa

Europe’s Chance in Africa

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

Forced out of Towns in the Sahel, Africa’s Jihadists Go Rural

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.