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.
Violence erupted in lead-up to and on 31 Oct presidential election, leaving over 30 dead; violence threatens to escalate in coming weeks. After opposition Popular Ivorian Front presidential candidate Pascal Affi N’Guessan and Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) candidate Henri Konan Bédié 15 Oct called for “active boycott” of vote and urged supporters to disrupt electoral operations, violence broke out in several regions. Clashes between ethnic Agni who support Affi N’Guessan and ethnic Dioula who support President Ouattara 17 Oct left two dead in Bongouanou (centre east), Affi’s hometown and electoral bastion. Ethnic Adjoukrou tribesmen, deemed close to opposition, and Dioula individuals 20-21 Oct clashed in Dabou town (south east), killing at least 16 and injuring over 60. Meanwhile, police 19 and 30 Oct confronted opposition supporters in Bonoua town (south east), leaving one dead and several seriously wounded. On 31 Oct election day, clashes between supporters of rival parties reportedly left a dozen dead across country; opposition supporters also reportedly burnt electoral material in Brobo town and prevented access to polling stations in several regions. Earlier in month, UN, African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) 4 Oct sent high-level delegation to economic capital Abidjan on three-day mission to defuse electoral tensions; delegates reportedly advised authorities to approve former President Gbagbo and former PM Guillaume Soro’s candidacies and delay vote, which Ouattara rejected. Tens of thousands of opposition supporters 10 Oct rallied in Félix Houphouët-Boigny stadium in Abidjan to protest Ouattara’s third term bid. ECOWAS 18 Oct dispatched its second ministerial delegation in Abidjan since Sept, called on Bédié and N’Guessan to “reconsider their call for civil disobedience”. PM Hamed Bakayoko 21 Oct hosted dialogue with opposition representatives in Abidjan, which PDCI and FPI boycotted saying govt showed no genuine willingness to compromise on any of their core demands, including reshuffling electoral commission and delaying vote.
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