USIP works with partners to support civil society efforts geared toward preventing electoral violence in Côte d'Ivoire. The Institute worked with civil society organizations as they prepared for the October 2010 presidential elections, including providing support for the training of domestic electoral monitors. USIP continues to track the crisis situation and offer analysis on the political stalemate in Côte d'Ivoire.
Since the end of the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire in May 2011, the country has gradually recovered economically. However, the process of political reconciliation between the main actors of the post-election crisis in 2010/2011 remains stalled. So far, the new President Alassane Ouattara has not succeeded in bringing the supporters of former head of state Laurent Gbagbo back into this process. Gbagbo’s former party, the Front populaire ivoirien (FPI), still refuses to recognize Ouattara as head of state and boycotted the parliamentary elections held in December 2011. The FPI mainly criticizes the selective practice of the Ivorian judiciary, which until today has only charged members of the pro-Gbagbo forces for the crimes they committed during the post-election crisis and did not examine atrocities carried out by the forces supporting Ouattara. This happened despite of promises made by Ouattara to prosecute crimes committed by both sides and has led to allegations of a “winner’s justice.”
The stalled political reconciliation process also renders difficult the integration of the remaining pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara forces into the newly established national security forces, which is an essential condition for a long-term improvement of the security situation in the country. Groups still loyal to Gbagbo are reluctant to join the forces largely dominated by Ouattara supporters. Some of the pro-Gbagbo groups continue to be active in several parts of the country and recently carried out a number of attacks on installations of the Ivorian army as well as an attack on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) in June 2012. At the same time, parts of the pro-Ouattara forces, especially in the North of the country, still operate outside of the hierarchy structures of the national security forces.
It is thus necessary that President Ouattara makes a credible effort to bring the crimes committed by his own forces to Ivorian courts and to create stronger incentives for both pro-Ouattara and former pro-Gbagbo forces to join the national security forces. Only if this is achieved will it be possible to tackle the numerous issues that were at the roots of the recent crisis (such as the question of ivoirité, questions over land tenure and the problem of high youth unemployment) and lay the foundation for a long-term peace in Côte d’Ivoire.
Watch, listen and learn as USIP experts and events address issues regarding Côte d'Ivoire:
- Listen to audio from USIP event "What's next for Côte d'Ivoire?" - April 29, 2011
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