December 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 1 December 2010
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AFRICA

Côte d’Ivoire

Expected Council Action

In December the Council is expected to consider the Secretary-General’s report on Côte d’Ivoire. The mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission UNOCI expires on 31 December and in light of the ongoing gravity of the situation the Council is expected to renew it. The head of UNOCI, Choi Young-jin, will brief the Council.

Key Recent Developments
On 3 November, Choi, the head of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), briefed the Council via video teleconference on the electoral and security situations following the first round of elections on 31 October. He indicated that the voter turnout was over 80 percent and that no major human rights violation had been recorded.

The Council subsequently issued a statement:

  • welcoming the holding of the presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire on 31 October;
  • commending the Ivorian people for their massive and peaceful participation in this crucial vote and urging all stakeholders to continue to be fully committed to a democratic, peaceful and transparent completion of the electoral process;
  • stressing the critical role of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in announcing the provisional results of the vote quickly possible;
  • welcoming the assistance of UNOCI in helping the IEC overcome logistical challenges; and
  • expressing its resolve to continue to closely monitor the situation, “in particular the security conditions on the ground and the efforts to successfully conclude the electoral process.”

On 12 November, Choi recognised the results of the first round of elections as valid, following the announcement of the provisional results by the IEC during the night of 3-4 November, and the proclamation of the final results by the Constitutional Council on 10 November. No presidential candidate received a majority of votes in the first round. Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo led the first round and veteran opposition figure and former prime minister Alassane Ouattara came in second, thus qualifying to run in the second round of the presidential elections.

On 23 November the Secretary-General submitted his latest report updating the Council on the political and security situation in Côte d’Ivoire. He highlighted the progress made and the challenges to the current and the longer term electoral process (including the run-off and legislative elections). The Secretary-General also recommended an extension of UNOCI’s mandate “on the basis of an additional assessment of the evolving security situation…following the completion of the electoral cycle.” The assessment will be included in a report to the Council in March and will include proposals for the UN’s post elections presence in the country.

On 24 November the Council authorised the temporary redeployment of a maximum of three infantry companies and an aviation unit comprised of two military utility helicopters from the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to UNOCI, to assist with security arrangements. (The Council’s action was in response to a request on 22 November by the Secretary-General for advance approval of the redeployment of troops and aviation assets from UNMIL as a contingency security measure.)

On 28 November run-off presidential elections were held in Côte d’Ivoire (but official results had not been announced at the time of going to press.)

Key Issues
A key issue for the Council is renewing the mandate of UNOCI and how best to use the opportunity to adequately respond to the ongoing challenges in the political process. The ongoing developments in the presidential elections, security concerns and legislative elections slated for February 2011 highlight the fragility of the situation in the country.

A closely related issue will be for the Council to determine how best to use its meeting on the Secretary-General’s report to consider, at least preliminarily, the future of UNOCI, and possibly give indications of this in UNOCI’s renewal mandate.

Underlying Issues
The tense and fragile political and security situations pose latent threats to stability in the country, especially during this phase of openly competitive contests. Critical tasks outlined in the Ouagadougou Agreements remain unfulfilled, particularly the process of disarming former combatants of the Forces Nouvelles. The dismantling of militias remains incomplete, and the government has yet to attain effective control throughout the country.

Options
Options for the Council include:

  • renewing the mandate of UNOCI without any significant changes for four months as proposed by the Secretary-General or for the standard six months, while setting the stage for possible mandate modification down the line, such as by authorising a technical assessment mission to evaluate the situation in the country and make proposals for the future direction of UNOCI ;
  • renewing the mandate of UNOCI with major changes, including fine-tuning the mandate by incorporating any relevant recommendations by the Secretary-General regarding UNOCI’s future role;
  • beginning the process of Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) engagement as a proactive measure to facilitate enhanced peace consolidation; and
  • actively implementing the penultimate paragraph of its presidential statement of 5 August 2009 (S/PRST/2009/24), in which it recognised the importance of introducing peacebuilding elements in peacekeeping operations before transfer to the PBC.


Council Dynamics
Council members agree on the need to renew the mandate of UNOCI, given its continuing value in securing peace and providing crucial technical and logistical support to the Ivorian electoral commission, including the transportation of voting materials and reports.

In light of political uncertainties and the fragile security situation, most Council members seem to prefer retaining the current mandate of UNOCI and extending it for a few months before giving serious consideration to modifying it.

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

UN Documents

Selected Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1951 (24 November 2010) authorised the temporary deployment of troops from UNMIL to UNOCI.
  • S/RES/1946 (15 October 2010) renewed the sanctions and the mandate of the group of experts until 30 April 2011.
  • S/RES/1942 (29 September 2010) authorised the deployment of 500 additional troops to UNOCI to help with security during the election period.
  • S/RES/1933 (30 June 2010) extended the mandate of UNOCI until 30 December 2010.

Selected Presidential Statements

  • S/PRST/2009/24 (5 August 2009) requested the Secretary-General to provide in his reports on specific missions an indication of progress towards achieving a coordinated UN approach in-country, and in particular on critical gaps to achieving peacebuilding objectives alongside the mission.
  • S/PRST/2007/8 (28 March 2007) endorsed the Ouagadougou Agreement.

Selected Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2010/600 (23 November 2010) was the latest UNOCI report.
  • S/2010/537 (18 October 2010) was the Secretary-General’s mid-term report on UNOCI.
  • S/2008/250 (15 April 2008) contained the five-criteria for the Special Representative to certify all stages of the Ivorian electoral process.

Selected Letters

  • S/2010/601 (22 November 2010) was the request by the Secretary-General to the Council for approval of the redeployment of troops and aviation assets from UNMIL to UNOCI.
  • S/2010/493 (23 September 2010) was from the Secretary-General informing the Council about the head of UNOCI’s certification of the Ivorian electoral process.
  • S/2010/486 and S/2010/485 (17 September 2010) was the exchange of letters between the Secretary-General and the Council on raising the level of authorised UNOCI military and police personnel leading up to the presidential election.
  • S/2008/834 (30 December 2008) contained the fourth supplementary agreement to the Ouagadougou Agreement.
  • S/2007/144 (13 March 2007) contained the Ouagadougou Agreement.

Other

  • SC/10076 (3 November 2010) was the latest press statement by the Council on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire.
  • S/PV.6415 (3 November 2010) was the briefing by Special Representative Choi to the Council on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire.

Other Relevant Facts

Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of Mission

Choi Young-jin (Republic of Korea)

Force Commander

Major.-General Abdul Hafiz (Bangladesh)

Chair of the Sanctions Committee

Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti (Brazil)

Police Commissioner

Major-General Jean Marie Bourry (France)

Size and Composition of UNOCI

Strength as of 30 August 2010: 7,186 troops, 189 military observers, 1,167 police personnel, 393 international civilian personnel, 759 local staff and 274 UN volunteers.

Approved Budget

1 July 2010-30 June 2011: $485.1 million

Full forecast