January 2006 Monthly Forecast

Posted 22 December 2005
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Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI)

Recent Developments
The November 30 Presidential Statement urging the Ivorian parties to reach an agreement on the appointment of a prime minister and indicating the Council’s readiness to impose targeted sanctions on individuals-broadly interpreted as the Council’s last warning-appears to have had an impact. On 4 December, Charles Konan Banny, the governor of the Central Bank of West African States, was appointed interim prime minister of Côte d’Ivoire.

The Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Juan Méndez, visited Côte d’Ivoire between 29 November and 3 December. After numerous interviews, he declared that the ethnic orientation of the conflict could lead to “massive and serious violations of human rights”.

On 15 December, sanctions imposed by resolution 1572 (2004) expired and, on the same day, the Council adopted a resolution extending those measures for a year and creating a new Group of Experts of five members. The resolution also contained provisions for an embargo on the export of Ivorian diamonds and requested the rebel Forces nouvelles to provide an inventory of their weapons. This resolution did not impose individual targeted measures stipulated by paragraphs 9 and 11 of resolution 1572 (2004). In light of the positive news of the appointment of the prime minister, Council members now appear to agree that the activation of these measures should wait and be considered in the light of progress with the establishment of the new government.

Expected Council Action
In January, the Council is expected to receive the seventh progress report of the Secretary-General on the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). The mandate of UNOCI will expire on 24 January. The Council is expected to renew it and, depending on the Secretary-General’s recommendations, consider an increase in the troop level and a possible modification of the mandate.

Key Facts
The failure to conduct presidential elections before the end of President Laurent Gbagbo’s constitutional term of office on 30 October 2005 resulted in a crisis that led to action by both the African Union and the Security Council. It was decided in resolution 1633 (2005) that:

  • President Gbagbo would remain in power for a maximum of 12 months after his term ended;
  • a new prime minister acceptable to all parties would be appointed to exercise executive powers;
  • an International Working Group (IWG) responsible for the evaluation and monitoring of the peace process be set up and produce a road map leading to elections;
  • a new type of mediation would be conducted daily by a subgroup of the IWG composed of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Côte d’Ivoire, the Secretary-General’s High Representative for the Elections in Côte d’Ivoire, and representatives of ECOWAS and the African Union; and
  • the threat of sanctions against individual spoilers would be strengthened.

At its 6 December meeting in Addis Ababa, the IWG decided to provide the prime minister with the right to enact legislation until the end of the transitional period arising from resolution 1633 (2005). The IWG will hold its next meeting on 15 January in Côte d’Ivoire.

Sanctions against individuals found to be obstructing the peace process, violating human rights, publicly inciting hatred and violence and violating the arms embargo provided for by resolution 1572 (2004) have not come into effect for specific individuals because of differences within the Sanctions Committee and because the AU mediator has believed that this might be counterproductive. The Group of Experts repeatedly recommended to the Council that it act on its earlier decisions in this regard.

Key Issues
Discussions are underway on whether an increase in the troop level of UNOCI would be necessary and feasible. The Secretary-General has been requesting a substantial increase in the troop level and is very likely to renew this recommendation in January, given the current needs in terms of security and with regard to the implementation of the roadmap.  There is some opposition within the Council on this matter.

A further issue is the question of a possible mandate change to permit UNOCI troops to better monitor the arms embargo.

The progress of government formation will also be a possible issue. The designation of key ministries such as finance, defence and interior are likely to be controversial and could result in backsliding in the peace process.

And the issue of possible renewed violence will be closely monitored as the resolution is being prepared.

Finally there is the issue of past human rights violations, which simmers below the surface, notwithstanding the decision to defer any individual sanctions at this stage.

Council Dynamics
For the past year, the Council took its cue from the AU mediator and followed his recommendation to refrain from activating sanctions aimed at individuals. Frustrated by the parties’ failure to advance the political process, the Council by late November appeared ready to act on its earlier decisions. In light of the parties’ compliance with the demand to appoint a prime minister, however, the Council seems now to be willing once again to give the parties the benefit of the doubt and to postpone further the possibility of the imposition of these individual measures. For similar reasons, while some members of the Council have argued for inviting the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide for a briefing, others felt that such a briefing at this moment could be counterproductive for the political process.

Furthermore, Russia, China and Algeria have been opposed to sanctions against individuals violating human rights, as well as to additional measures related to the functioning of the arms embargo, such as the audit of the country’s cocoa revenues, recommended by the Group of Experts. China and Russia have also been opposed to an increase in troop levels of UNOCI and measures that would facilitate the tightening of the arms embargo.

With regards to the renewal of UNOCI, the Council has the following options:

  • increase the troop level and modify the mandate to allow the mission to better monitor the arms embargo and to protect the civilian population more effectively;
  • consider the redeployment of troops from the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to Côte d’Ivoire, as allowed by resolution 1609 (2005) “within the authorized personnel ceiling of a given mission”, an option that would require addressing various financial, procedural and political obstacles;
  • a technical roll-over and continued discussions; and
  • mandate renewal without change.

A further option would be for the Council to decide to consider the report of the international commission of inquiry on serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law in Côte d’Ivoire from 19 September 2002. The report was requested by Presidential Statement of 25 May 2004 and transmitted to the Council in December 2004. The Council has not considered the report and, thus, the report has not yet  officially been made public.

The Council may also decide to invite the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide to brief on his recent trip to Côte d’Ivoire.

Depending on the developments on the ground, another option would be for the Council to activate the targeted sanctions against individuals found to be obstructing the peace process, violating human rights, publicly inciting hatred and violence and violating the arms embargo provided for by resolution 1572 (2004).

Underlying Problems
The lack of financial and human resources for UNOCI to help in the implementation of all components of the roadmap is a real problem and has been raised by the Secretary-General.

An Independent Electoral Commission was created in 2001 with the task of conducting the electoral process and clarifying questions regarding nationality, identification and naturalisation. According to the terms of the Linas-Marcoussis and Pretoria agreements, this commission’s composition was amended in order to achieve a better representation of all the parties. However, because of disagreements between the parties within the Commission over the election of its bureau, the Commission is still not operational. Since 15 July, it has been headed by Antonio Monteiro, the High Representative for the Elections in Côte d’Ivoire, appointed by the UN Secretary-General. If the commission does not become quickly operational, it could jeopardize the elections due in October 2006.

Human rights violations have continued, and there has been little or no progress on disarming rebels in the northern half of the country.

The obstruction of the work of UN peacekeepers has also hindered the peace process. For this reason, the Council has emphasised in resolution 1643 (2005) that activities impeding the actions of UNOCI would not be tolerated.

The failure to consider and make public the 2004 report of the international commission of inquiry on serious violations of human rights has led to questions being raised on the ground, especially by members of civil society, about the value of UN investigations and UN’s commitment to transparency.

UNOCI does not have good intelligence and lacks technical skills to fulfil its mandate regarding the monitoring of arms embargo on land.

UN Documents

 Selected Security Council resolutions
  • S/RES 1643 (15 December 2005)
  • S/RES/1633 (21 October 2005) endorsed the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council of 6 October 2005, extended President Gbagbo’s term by 12 months, supported the creation of the IWG, called for the designation of a prime minister and reaffirmed its readiness to impose sanctions.
  • S/RES/1632 (18 October 2005) extended the mandate of the Group of Experts to 15 December 2005.
  • S/RES/1609 (24 June 2005) extended the mandate of UNOCI for seven months, further detailed the mandate and increased the contingents.
  • S/RES/1603 (3 June 2005) endorsed the Pretoria Agreements, established a High Representative for the Elections in Côte d’Ivoire and renewed UNOCI’s mandate until 24 June.
  • S/RES/1600 (04 May 2005) welcomed the Pretoria Agreement and extended UNOCI’s mandate by one month.
  • S/RES/1584 (1 February 2005) authorised UNOCI to monitor the arms embargo and created a Group of Experts to provide information to the Sanctions Committee.
  • S/RES/1572 (15 November 2004) established an arms embargo and called for sanctions against individuals found to be obstructing the peace process, violating human rights, publicly inciting hatred and violence and violating the embargo.
  • S/RES/1528 (27 February 2004) established UNOCI.

 Selected Presidential Statements

  • S/PRST/2005/60 (9 December 2005) endorsed the final communiqué of the IWG of 6 December 2005 and reaffirmed that the prime minister must have all the necessary powers described in resolution 1633.
  • S/PRST/2005/58 (30 November 2005) urged the parties in Côte d’Ivoire to find a candidate for the position of prime minister.
  • S/PRST/2004/17 (25 May 2004) asked the Secretary-General to establish an international commission of inquiry to investigate all human rights violations committed in Côte d’Ivoire since 19 September 2002, and determine responsibility.

 Most recent Secretary-General’s Report

 Selected Letters to the President of the Council

  • S/2005/768 (8 December 2005) Final communiqué of the second meeting of the IWG
  • S/2005/707 (9 November 2005) Letter mentioning that the lack of funding for the High Representative for Elections activities was worrying
  • S/2005/639 (11 October 2005) Communiqué on Côte d’Ivoire issued by the Peace and Security Council of the AU on 6 October 2005
  • S/2005/598 (21 September 2005) Communiqué on Côte d’Ivoire issued by the Peace and Security Council of the AU on 14 September 2005
  • S/2005/584 (13 September 2005) Report of the High Representative for the Elections in Côte d’Ivoire, from 8 to 18 August 2005
  • S/2004/567 (13 July 2004) Letter notifying the Council about the appointment of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide
Historical Background

6 December 2005

The second meeting of the IWG was held in Abidjan.

4 December 2005

Charles Konan Banny, the governor of the Central Bank of West Africa States, was appointed interim prime minister of Côte d’Ivoire.

8 November 2005

The first meeting of the newly established International Working Group was held.

30 October 2005

President Gbagbo’s constitutional term in office ended.

18-21 October 2005

The chairman of the Sanctions Committee for Côte d’Ivoire led consultations in the country to determine if individuals could be subjected to sanctions.

6 October 2005

The AU’s Peace and Security Council decided to extend Gbagbo’s mandate by 12 months. The Council endorsed this decision on 13 October.

24 June 2005

The Council approved resolution 1609, which extended UNOCI’s mandate and increased the mission’s military and civilian police contingents.

11 April 2005

The Pretoria Agreement was signed by all Ivorian parties. This peace agreement reinforced the terms of the previous two agreements and stipulated that elections would be held in October 2005.

15 November 2004

The Council approved resolution 1572, which imposed an arms embargo as well as sanctions restricting travel and freezing assets of all persons designated by the Sanctions Committee who pose a threat to the peace process.

9 November 2004

The AU mediation initiative led by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa began.

30 July 2004

The Accra III Agreement, which consolidated the implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, was signed.

27 February 2004

The Council adopted resolution 1528 establishing UNOCI.

13 May 2003

The Council adopted resolution 1479 establishing the UN Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (MINUCI) with a mandate to facilitate the implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement.

March 2003

A government of national reconciliation was formed.

24 January 2003

The Linas-Marcoussis Agreement (S/2003/99) was signed between the Ivorian Government and all political forces, under a French initiative.

19 September 2002

A mutiny in Abidjan by army officers grew into full-scale rebellion.

Other Relevant Facts

 Special Representative of the Secretary-General

Pierre Schori (Sweden)

 High Representative for the Elections

Antonio Monteiro (Portugal)

 Size and Composition of Mission

Authorised Strength: (24 June 2005 – 24 January 2006) 7,090 military personnel and 725 police officers; Current Strength (31 October 2005): 7,558 total uniformed personnel, including 6,704 troops, 193 military observers, 661 police supported by 341 international civilian personnel, 385 local staff and 192 UN Volunteers; Key Troop Contributing Countries: Togo, Senegal


1 July 2005 – 30 June 2006: $438.17 million

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