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Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.

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Africa

Côte d’Ivoire

Political jostling continued ahead of 2025 presidential election; govt further deepened military ties with U.S.

Political focus remained on next year’s vote. At party convention in Abidjan city, opposition African People’s Party-Côte d’Ivoire (PPA-CI) 10 May officially declared former President Gbagbo as candidate for 2025 presidency polls; Gbagbo’s candidacy, however, faces major obstacles including his ineligibility due to 2018 criminal conviction for looting Central Bank of West African States during 2010-2011 post-electoral crisis and competition from several parties run by previous allies, including his former wife, that will be chasing similar parts of electorate. Meanwhile, former PM Soro – in exile since 2019 and sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia in 2021 for undermining national security – 8 May said he would continue dialogue with Ouattara on national reconciliation, amid his attempts to return from exile. 

Discussion with Washington over expanded security ties continued. After U.S. delegation led by head of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), Gen. Michael Langley, late April visited Ouattara to discuss establishment of American military base, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana 13-24 May jointly hosted annual AFRICOM-led special operations exercise featuring dozens of countries. 

In other important international developments. Relations with Senegal boosted by 7 May visit of new Senegalese President Faye. Tensions with Burkina Faso, however, remained high following series of incidents along border with reports of reciprocal security forces’ provocations during May.

Africa

Côte d’Ivoire

Political positioning continued ahead of 2025 presidential election; govt discussed border incidents with Burkina Faso. 

Preparations for 2025 vote continued. Amid internal jostling within ruling-Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace’s (RHDP), Adama Bictogo, president of National Assembly and RHDP heavyweight, 16 April said President Ouattara was “natural candidate” for party. Meanwhile, former PM Guillaume Soro – in exile since 2019 and sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia in 2021 for endangering the state – 4 April confirmed late March calls with Ouattara after president pardoned several associates of Soro, welcoming “beginning of political relaxation”; however Soro, who is seeking to end exile, 23 April criticised govt’s “prerequisites” to allow him to return.

Defence delegation met Burkinabé authorities. Defence Minister Téné Birahima Ouattara 19 April travelled to Burkina Faso border town Niangoloko to discuss tensions with his counterpart Kassoum Coulibaly; meeting came after series of incidents along border including Ivorian soldiers late March arresting two Burkinabé security force members who had crossed border; troops subsequently exchanged fire, although no casualties reported.

Africa

Côte d’Ivoire

Jostling continued ahead of 2025 presidential election with announcement of first candidacies. 

Opposition party African People’s Party-Côte d’Ivoire (PPA-CI) 9 March announced former President Laurent Gbagbo as candidate for 2025 presidency polls, despite his ineligibility due to 2018 criminal conviction for looting Central Bank of West African States during 2010-2011 post-electoral crisis. Main opposition party Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) leader Tidjane Thiam 11 March confirmed good relations with Gbagbo. Meanwhile Philippe Legré, member of ruling party Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace’s (RHDP) executive board and governor of Bas-Sassandra region, 16 March said President Ouattara would be RHDP candidate for 2025 election. 

Africa

Côte d’Ivoire

Govt articulated commitment to stability and fair elections, reaffirmed U.S. partnership.

Preparations for 2025 elections continued. President Ouattara 14 Feb emphasised measures would be put in place to maintain and strengthen cohesion ahead of 2025 presidential election. Both ruling Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) and main opposition party Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) sought to build election campaigns and gain popular support, including focussing on youth mobilisation; senior RHDP official Roger Adom 19 Feb attended meeting presenting new leader of party’s youth wing, saying “We are counting on you” in vote. After Senate President Kandia Camara 31 Jan announced 2024 revision of six legislative bills, including Electoral Code and Nationality bill, PDCI President Tidjane Thiam 21 Feb stressed need for electoral reform to create more representative democratic system.

U.S. and govt reaffirmed security cooperation. Interior and Security Minister Vagondo Diomandé and U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Civil Security, Democracy and Human Rights Uzra Zeya 2 Feb met in Abidjan city, discussing themes including justice sector reform, fight against corruption and terrorism; Zeya emphasised role of Côte d’Ivoire in maintaining regional stability, and importance of mutual cooperation in confronting security challenges.

In another important development. NGO Amnesty International 20 Feb called on authorities to enforce anti-corruption laws and protect human rights defenders, citing Ivorian perceptions of pervasive corruption.

Africa

Côte d’Ivoire

Main opposition party laid out plans for return to power in 2025, and govt affirmed American and Chinese diplomatic ties.

New PDCI leader promoted participatory and inclusive decision-making. Former Credit Suisse CEO, Tidjane Thiam, inaugurated 24 Jan as president of main opposition party Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI); Thiam mapped out party’s strategy to return to power in 2025, vowing to promote participatory decision-making to strengthen PDCI’s internal democracy, while calling for reform of Independent Electoral Commission. After launching membership campaign, party early Jan reportedly recruited nearly 4,000 new members.

Relations remained strong with Washington. During visit to Côte d’Ivoire, U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken 23 Jan praised govt’s approach to security, notably making sure security forces understand “the needs, the concerns of communities”, as model for other countries. Earlier, Wall Street Journal newspaper 3 Jan reportedU.S. diplomats met with Ivorian officials to discuss possibility of setting up reconnaissance drone base in Côte d’Ivoire. 

In another important development. Govt 17 Jan also reaffirmed long-standing strategic partnership with China, as Chinese FM Wang Yi publicly thanked Abidjan for “firm support” on Taiwan issue.

Africa

Côte d’Ivoire

Main opposition party’s elective congress highlighted internal divisions and rekindled animosity with ruling party.

Main opposition party Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) prepared to hold extraordinary congress on 16 Dec to elect successor to long-time party leader, Henri Konan Bédié, who died in Aug. In last-minute ruling, Abidjan court of first instance 15 Dec ordered suspension of congress following urgent request from two senior party members, who alleged lack of transparency and irregularities in process. Controversy highlighted internal divisions between party’s old guard and younger reformist wing, and rekindled animosity between PDCI and ruling party Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP). PDCI interim president Alphonse Cowppli-Bony Kwassy 16 Dec denounced “practices from another era that undermine democracy and freedoms”, seemingly accusing RHDP of orchestrating suspension of congress. Plaintiffs 21 Dec withdrew complaint, and congress was held 22 Dec in capital Yamoussoukro. Former Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam won bid with 96,48 % of votes, defeating businessman and diplomat Jean-Marc Yacé.

Africa

Côte d’Ivoire

Former PM Guillaume Soro announced intention to end self-imposed exile; govt highlighted criminal convictions facing him.

Opposition party Generations and Peoples in Solidarity (GPS) claimed Ivorian authorities 3 Nov attempted to arrest party leader, former PM Guillaume Soro, at Istanbul airport in Türkiye; govt 6 Nov denied allegation. Soro 12 Nov announced intention to end self-imposed exile and return home, said he was back in Africa for first time in five years. In defiance of President Ouattara, who has taken firm stance against military takeovers in West Africa, Niger and Burkina Faso junta leaders 13, 21 Nov met with Soro in Niamey and Ouagadougou, respectively. Govt 23 Nov said Soro can return to Côte d’Ivoire “whenever he wants”, adding it was up to justice system to implement sentences handed down against him in 2020-2021, which include life imprisonment for “undermining state security” over accusations of plotting coup against Ouattara.

Africa

Côte d’Ivoire

President Ouattara reshuffled govt in wake of landslide victory in September local elections, while opposition remained in disarray.

Ouattara revamped leadership team, keeping tight grip on power. After ruling party Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) won landslide victory in Sept regional and municipal elections, President Ouattara 6 Oct dismissed PM Patrick Achi, and 16 Oct appointed governor of Abidjan and RHDP heavyweight Robert Beugré Mambé as new PM. Appointment came as a surprise to many observers who expected more political appointment giving indication about Ouattara’s succession plans ahead of 2025 presidential election. Mambé 18 Oct announced new govt mostly composed of previous govt’s key figures; reconciliation ministry abolished, which suggests that opposition’s poor performance in local elections bolstered RHDP confidence; Mambé himself took charge of sports ministry as country prepares to host Africa Cup of Nations football competition in Jan. Meanwhile, senators 12 Oct elected Ouattara’s close ally, former FM Kandia Camara, as head of upper legislature.

Opposition struggled to come to terms with electoral defeat. Former President Laurent Gbagbo 6 Oct circulated memo within his opposition party African People’s Party-Côte d’Ivoire (PPA-CI) announcing audit of local election campaigns; 23 Oct reshuffled PPA-CI leadership, notably replacing party’s executive president, sec gen and spokesperson. Amid power struggle within Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) following death in Aug of long-time leader Henri Konan Bédié and electoral defeat in Sept, PDCI 14 Oct scheduled extraordinary party congress for 16 Dec to elect new president.

Africa

Côte d’Ivoire

Ruling party won sweeping victory in local elections, confirming overwhelming dominance over political scene two years before presidential election.

Ruling party consolidated power in local elections. Regional and municipal elections 2 Sept proceeded peacefully, featuring candidacies from across political landscape. Electoral commission 5 Sept announced President Ouattara’s party, Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP), won 123 out of 201 municipalities (61%) and 25 out of 31 regions (81%); despite their alliance, main opposition parties Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire and African People’s Party-Côte d’Ivoire secured only 34 municipalities and four regions. RHDP’s sweeping victory, even in traditional opposition strongholds, inched country closer to return to de facto one-party rule ahead of presidential election due in 2025. RHDP 16 Sept also won 56 of 64 seats in senatorial elections, reinforcing its grip on parliament’s upper chamber.

In other important developments. Ouattara 28 Sept announced plan to reshuffle govt in October. Burkina Faso authorities 19 Sept arrested two Ivorian police officers who had crossed into Burkina chasing illicit gold miners; Ivorian govt 28 Sept said it was negotiating for their release.

Africa

Côte d’Ivoire

Death of former President Bédié created power vacuum in main opposition party, and Niger’s junta recalled ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire to protest President Ouattara’s firm stance against coup.

Veteran politician Bédié died, leaving massive void in his party. Veteran politician and leader of Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI), former President Henri Konan Bédié, 1 Aug died aged 89. President Ouattara next day declared ten days of national mourning, cancelling 7 Aug Independence Day celebrations. PDCI set to embark on fierce succession struggle one month before local elections set for 2 Sept, and two years before 2025 presidential contest, as Bédié kept strong control over party apparatus during his decades in charge, resisted generational change, and did not designate successor.

Tensions rose between Abidjan and Niamey after coup in Niger. Following extraordinary summit of West African regional bloc ECOWAS, Ouattara 10 Aug affirmed commitment to using all necessary means, including military force, to reinstate constitutional order in Niger; also said Côte d’Ivoire would send battalion of up to 1,100 troops as well as financial resources in case of ECOWAS Standby Force deployment. In response, junta in Niamey 14 Aug recalled Nigerien ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire (see Niger).

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