April 2009 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 March 2009
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Côte d’Ivoire

Expected Council Action
The Council is expected to consider the Secretary-General’s report on Côte d’Ivoire which is due in April. Also in April, the Council’s Sanctions Committee on Côte d’Ivoire is expected to conduct a review of the sanctions regime, (the Group of Experts submitted its midterm report to the sanctions committee in late March). The mandate of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) expires on 31 July.

Key Recent Developments
The situation in Côte d’Ivoire remains fragile. No date or timeline for the holding of elections has been set since the last postponement of the presidential elections in November (the elections were to be held on 30 November but were called off due to logistical, technical and financial delays in the national identification and voters’ registration process—the fifth postponement of the elections since 2002).

On 21 January the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Côte d’Ivoire and head of UNOCI, Choi Young-jin, briefed the Council. He highlighted the progress on voter identification and registration. Choi also discussed the challenge of disarming former combatants, the viability of holding elections and how they directly impact the country’s future and a possible exit strategy for UNOCI.

With respect to the peace process, Choi recalled the signing on 22 December of the fourth supplementary agreement on the Ouagadougou Agreement and noted its potential to have a decisive impact on the process. (The supplementary agreement contains two key elements: completion of disarmament two months before the presidential elections and restoration of state authority in the north by February.)

The Permanent Representative of Côte d’Ivoire, Ambassador Ilahiri Alcide Djédjé, subsequently agreed with the assessment of progress made by the Secretariat. Djédjé said implementation of the fourth supplementary agreement began on 15 January with the return of the financial and judicial administration to the central, northern and western zones of the country, with the support of the Ivorian police and gendarmerie. These zones had been occupied by the Forces Nouvelles de Côte d’Ivoire.

On 27 January, the Council adopted resolution 1865 extending the mandate of UNOCI for six months and authorised the reduction of its troop level from 8,115 to 7,450 in line with the Secretary-General’s recommendations. The resolution took note of the postponement of the presidential elections and urged Ivorian political actors to quickly find agreement on a new and realistic timeframe for the elections. This timeframe would shape key elements of the electoral process, including the publication of provisional and final versions of the electoral list and the preparation and distribution of identity and voter cards. The resolution welcomed progress in identification of the population and registration of voters and called upon Ivorian parties to endeavour to complete those efforts by the end of February.

Key Issues
The key issue for the Council is a viable electoral timetable. (The Permanent Consultative Framework’s decision on 10 November to postpone the presidential elections without producing a new date has resulted in an unprecedented situation. This is the first time since the Ouagadougou Agreement was signed in March 2007 where there has been neither a date nor a clearly set period for the elections.)

Another important issue in this situation is how to maintain momentum with the peace process. Continued tensions and lawlessness in many parts of the country further increase the risks.

The key issue for the Sanctions Committee is the implications for the sanctions regime from recent challenges to the peace process and progress towards elections. Resolution 1842 , which on 29 October 2008 extended the sanctions regime by 12 months, indicated the Council’s readiness to impose targeted sanctions against those posing a threat to the country’s peace and national reconciliation process. This included “persons…who are determined to be…a threat to the peace and national reconciliation process in Côte d’Ivoire” or “any threat to the electoral process in Côte d’Ivoire”.

Options for the Council include:

  • a statement emphasising the growing importance of a new and realistic timeframe for elections;
  • signalling a readiness to impose sanctions against those who obstruct the peace process or the electoral process;
  • maintaining the current sanctions regime; and
  • moving to impose targeted sanctions on those found culpable of infringing resolutions 1865 on UNOCI’s mandate and 1842 on sanctions, and for obstructing the peace process.

Council Dynamics
Council members are increasingly concerned about the continued lack of a timetable for the electoral process. They look forward to the Secretary-General’s report, particularly regarding the appropriate kind of support that UNOCI can offer in the circumstances.

Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee members are awaiting the report of the Group of Experts to shape their review of the sanctions regime. Any significant relaxation of sanctions now seems highly unlikely in light of the lack of progress in completing the voter registration and disarmament programme.

France is the lead country on this issue in the Council.

Underlying Problems
The immediate challenges facing the country include completing the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants, and the disarming and dismantling of militias. Other challenges include the full restoration of state authority throughout national territory, the completion of identification and voter registration operations, the holding of a credible and transparent presidential election, the reunification and restructuring of the defence and security forces and making progress in the areas of human rights and the rule of law.

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UN Documents

Selected Council Resolutions
  • S/RES/1865 (27 January 2009) extended the mandate of UNOCI until 31 July 2009.
  • S/RES/1842 (29 October 2008) extended the sanctions regime until 31 October 2009 and decided that any obstruction to the electoral process would be subject to sanctions.
  • S/RES/1826 (29 July 2008) extended the mandate of UNOCI until 31 January 2009.
  • S/RES/1643 (15 December 2005) renewed until 15 December 2006 the sanctions regime and established a diamonds embargo.
  • S/RES/1609 (24 June 2005) increased UNOCI’s contingents and authorised the temporary redeployment of military and civilian police personnel among the UN Mission in Liberia, the UN Mission in Sierra Leone and UNOCI.
  • 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.

Selected Presidential Statements

  • S/PRST/2008/42 (7 November 2008) expressed deep concern about the postponement of presidential elections, urged the Ivorian parties to complete the identification and registration of voters operations before the end of January 2009 and expressed its determination to fully support the electoral process on the understanding that elections will be organised before the end of spring 2009.
  • S/PRST/2008/11 (29 April 2008) welcomed the approval by the Ivorian authorities of the Independent Electoral Commission’s proposal to postpone the presidential elections to 30 November 2008.
  • S/PRST/2007/8 (28 March 2007) endorsed the Ouagadougou Agreement.

Latest Secretary-General’s Report

Selected Letters

  • S/2009/5 (5 January 2009) and S/2008/793 (16 December 2008) were the letters from the Secretary-General appointing experts.
  • S/2008/834 (30 December 2008) was the letter containing the fourth supplementary agreement to the Ouagadougou Agreement.
  • S/2008/694 (11 November 2008) was a letter from Burkina Faso transmitting the press statement of the fourth meeting of the Cadre Permanent de Consultation held on 10 November in Ouagadougou.


  • S/PV.6071 (21 January 2009) was a briefing by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Choi Young-jin, on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire.
  • S/2007/144 (13 March 2007) contained the Ouagadougou Agreement.

Other Relevant Facts

Special Representative of the Secretary-General

Choi Young-jin (Republic of Korea)

Force Commander

Major-General Fernand Marcel Amoussou (Benin)

Police Commissioner

Major-General Gerardo Cristian Chaumont (Argentina)

Group of Experts

El Hadi Salah, Algeria (customs and coordinator of the Group of Experts)
Grégoire Bafouatika, Republic of Congo (aviation)
James Bevan, UK (arms)
Joel Hernando Salek, Colombia (finance)
Noora Jamsheer, Bahrain (diamonds)

Size and Composition of UNOCI

  • Strength as of 28 February 2009: 9,220 total uniformed personnel, including 7,833 troops, 197 military observers; 1,146 police; supported by 416 international civilian personnel, 672 local staff and 283 UN Volunteers
  • Key troop-contributing countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, Jordan, Morocco and Pakistan.

Approved Budget

1 July 2008 – 30 June 2009: $497.46 million

Full forecast

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