Expected Council Action
In June the Council will consider whether to extend the temporary deployment of some UNMIL troops and aviation assets to Côte d’Ivoire to support UNOCI. The deployment expires on 30 June.
Key Recent Developments
On 1 May, President Alassane Ouattara announced that former Ivorian Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny would head a “truth, reconciliation and dialogue” commission as part of efforts aimed at fostering national healing after the post-elections conflict. The announcement came during a visit by a global elders delegation (comprising former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu of South Africa and former Irish President Mary Robinson) to promote reconciliation.
The delegation also visited former president Laurent Gbagbo, who is being kept under house arrest in the northern town of Korhogo. On 1 May the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, indicated that he would soon request judges to open an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the wake of the 28 November presidential run-off elections in Côte d’Ivoire.
On 5 May the Ivorian Constitutional Council declared Ouattara Côte d’Ivoire’s new president. The Council explained that its decision to reverse its December declaration awarding victory to Gbagbo (leading to the five month crisis) followed binding decisions taken by the AU, which had recognised Ouattara’s victory and demanded Gbagbo’s departure. On 6 May Ouattara was sworn into office.
On 9 May the Secretary-General wrote to the Council proposing that the publication of his next report on the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), originally scheduled for submission to the Council by 31 May, be postponed to 30 June and a technical rollover of UNOCI’s mandate to 31 July be approved.
On 11 May the Secretary-General wrote to the Council recommending that the Council also authorise a further extension of the inter-mission arrangements between the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and UNOCI until 31 July, subject to the renewal of UNOCI’s mandate.
On 13 May the Council extended the mandate of UNOCI until 31 July. It also extended until 30 June the temporary redeployment of military assets from UNMIL to UNOCI.
On 16 May the West African regional stock market, comprising trading companies from francophone West African countries and Guinea-Bissau (a lusophone country), resumed trading in Abidjan, the commercial capital of Côte d’Ivoire.
On 21 May the inauguration of Ouattara took place in Yamoussoukro, the administrative capital of Côte d’Ivoire.
- maintaining a priority focus on Côte d’Ivoire in the current context, including the role of the UN and UNOCI in assisting peace consolidation;
- ensuring that UNOCI continues to be able to support the maintenance of security in the country;
- encouraging effective disarmament, demobilisation and security-sector reform programmes as quickly as possible;
- monitoring the potentially destabilising effects of the developments in Côte d’Ivoire on peace and security in West Africa, including concerns about the potential movement of armed mercenaries allegedly recruited by the belligerents in Côte d’Ivoire along the porous borders (resolution 1981) requested the Secretary-General to keep the Council informed in his subsequent reports “of developments, measures taken and efforts made in the coordination of UNOCI and UNMIL to assist the Ivorian and Liberian governments “in monitoring their border and surrounding areas, including how the redeployed assets are assisting in this effort, with particular attention to any cross-border movement of combatants or transfer of arms”);
- balancing the Council’s own role and the roles of the regional and subregional organisations in consolidating peace in the country; and
- determining whether the Council should begin active consideration of how it can best provide effective input for the large and complex peacebuilding needs of the country.
The immediate challenges facing the country include: the full restoration of state authority throughout the national territory; the reunification and restructuring of the defence and security forces and making progress in the areas of human rights and the rule of law; the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of combatants; the disarming and dismantling of militias; and the delivery of urgently required humanitarian assistance and restoration of socioeconomic normalcy.
- organising a mission to Côte d’Ivoire well in advance of the UNOCI mandate expiry, perhaps at the level of working group on conflict prevention in Africa;
- proposing to ECOWAS that there be a joint ECOWAS/Security Council working group mission;
- not renewing the mandate of the temporary deployment of UNMIL military assets to support UNOCI;
- renewing the mandate of the temporary deployment of UNMIL troops to UNOCI, with or without modification for a further month; and
- encouraging Côte d’Ivoire and the Peacebuilding Commission in a discussion of opportunities to facilitate enhanced peace consolidation and utilising the full potential for a preventive role offered by the PBC’s existing mandate.
The US indicated, during the 13 May Council meeting that it was reluctant to anticipate any further extensions of UNMIL resources, “barring any unforeseen circumstances”, due to pressing security demands in Liberia linked to upcoming national elections, which would require UNMIL’s full capacity. France indicated that the decision regarding the future of UNMIL support for UNOCI should be essentially a technical issue and should be guided by the Secretariat.
Council members are mindful of the fact that the peacekeeping requirements of the country remain pertinent. However, many have indicated that they now see an urgent need to introduce or enhance peacebuilding components in UNOCI’s mandate. Discussion of these strategic issues will be influenced by the Secretary-General’s report, as well as the evolution of the situation the ground.
France is the lead country on this issue in the Council.
Selected Council Resolutions
Latest Secretary-General’s Report
Latest Press Statement
Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of Mission
Choi Young-jin (Republic of Korea)
Size and Composition of UNOCI
Strength (as of 30 April 2011): 7,974 troops, 177 military observers, 1,293 police personnel, 402 international civilian personnel, 741 local staff and 175 UN volunteers
1 July 2010-30 June 2011: $485.1 million