The Ivorian Crisis: Observations And Proposals
African Analysis International, AAI
Field Service Network, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
January 9, 2003
The problem in the Ivory Coast is definitely one that will further destabilize the sub region: The Ivorian population, its economic strength which supports neighbors, its port usage for several land locked countries in the sub region, an international transit business point, its agricultural output including cocoa ,coffee, yam and small industries, etc are all factors that stand to be disturbed with devastating consequences.
In this connection, preventing the current war to save lives and properties on both side and those who may become members on either side after any encounter is surely a fine and noble venture.
Africa Analysis International's position on the current situation is that the key to such noble initiative lies within the purview and maturity of the Ivorian government, particularly the Head of government and President of the Republic, since indeed the aggressor and aggrieved party has made some very key demands. The key demands are:
1. That the President, Laurent Gbagbo resigns his post as head of government; and
2. That fresh presidential and general elections are held in six months with all stakeholders and political oppositions participating.
Accordingly, and consequential of research and analysis, Africa Analysis International wishes to institutionally advance the following general observations and proposals as an alternative way forward based on experiences from Liberia and Sierra Leone:
I. That the problem in the Ivory Coast is fundamentally a complex political matter shrouded in historical prejudice, ethnicity, hate and identity crisis. By extension, its militarized nature is particularly connected with and can be traced to Charles Taylor and Blaise Campaore's virus of terror which has been experienced throughout the Mano River basin countries and now finding its way to other sub regional neighbors. Therefore, if this virus of regional destabilisation is not stopped immediately, it shall assume its cancerous nature as it has in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the 1990s.
3. That there are very high potentials of a spill over of the war in the Republics of Mali and Togo as has been in the case of Sierra Leone from Liberia in 1991. Therefore, Mail and Togo and the international community should be on the alert in curtailing the Libyan West Africa Political subjugation Plan.
To The Ivorian Government And The Warring Parties
1. That all parties to the conflict, particularly the Government, agree to a power sharing arrangement at all levels to include local government administration, except civil service.. This is significant and necessary in order to engender trust and confidence until fresh elections can be held within six to twelve months with all candidates participating. This should also require suspension of all constitutional clauses - statutes - , which may undermine the process;
2. That in the supreme interest of constitutionality and continuity, the current president, Laurent Gbagbo, remains as head of government. Alternatively, the current president should he want to contest the elections must resign his post three months before the slated time to elections to allow all participating candidates level playing field;
3. That the question of national security administration be the exclusive prerogatives of the French troops and ECOWAS ( The United Nations' involvement being critically desirable) pending the full implementation of the peace agreement;
4. That a new constitutional commission be set up and subsequently empowered to revisit the Country's Constitution accordingly with the view of advancing a constitution which shall give equality and justice to all Ivorians under the law; and
5. That the delicate issue of nationality ( citizenship) be clearly defined in the drafting of the new constitution, and /or review of the old one.
TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
1. That the international community UN, EU, AU and others set up a and empower a special commission to probe all human rights abuses and violations including massacres that occurred during the conflict period;
2. That the international community, particularly the UN, EU, France, United States and Britain seriously consider both the Taylor Liberian and the Campaore Burkinabe governments as terror support regimes; seek to indict in persons both Taylor and Campaore as instruments of regional insecurity, enemies of democracy, social progress, freedom, and sustainable economic development.
And the way to begin is to first of all impose a very strict international and regional travel ban both on Taylor and Campaore as individuals, freeze all of their personal accounts, assets and loot abroad including those of their business associates, immediate family members and senior cabinet ministers. This will serve as a warning and deterrence to other African despots doing, or wanting to do same.