September 2011 Monthly Forecast

Posted 31 August 2011
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AFRICA

Côte d’Ivoire

Expected Council Action
In September the Council is likely to consider the Secretary-General’s recommendations regarding cooperation arrangements between the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). The Council may renew the redeployment of helicopters and crews from UNMIL to UNOCI authorised in resolution 1992, scheduled to expire on 30 September.

The mandate of UNOCI expires on 31 July 2012.

Key Recent Developments
On 26 July, the Secretary-General indicated his intention to appoint Albert Gerard Koenders (Netherlands), as his special representative for Côte d’Ivoire, and head of UNOCI as Choi Young-Jin is stepping down on 31 August.

On 18 August, former President Laurent Gbagbo and his wife were charged with “economic crimes” by state prosecutors. The limited nature of the charges reflects the government’s hope that Gbagbo will face charges from the International Criminal Court (ICC) relating to human rights abuses.

On 10 August, 12 allies of Gbagbo were charged by the Office of the Prosecutor in Abidjan with crimes related to the violence following the disputed presidential election. None of President Alassane Ouattara’s supporters have been arrested or charged. On 3 August, Ouattara promoted two military commanders accused by Human Rights Watch, and others, of serious human rights abuses.

An electoral-needs assessment mission, led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, visited Côte d’Ivoire in late June. The mission concluded that legislative elections could be held by year’s end so long as the security situation improved and the international community stepped in to support the process.

Human Rights-Related Developments
In an effort to promote reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire, the acting human rights chief of UNOCI, Guillaume Ngefa, held a meeting on 4 August with former President Laurent Gbagbo and other detained members of his regime. He said that UNOCI’s purpose was to ensure that detainees’ human rights were respected. “We are emerging from a crisis and the way officials of the former regime are treated can influence the efforts of everyone in the process of national reconciliation,” Ngefa said. Gbagbo has been in detention since 11 April.

Key Issues
The role the UN can play in helping Côte d’Ivoire to achieve reconciliation, including by allowing political opposition to organise before the 2011 parliamentary elections, is the key issue for the Council.  

Another issue is the role played by the aviation assets from UNMIL, whether or not they should continue to patrol the volatile border region with Liberia, ready to assist UNMIL as needed. (In their current deployment the helicopters serve both missions even if they remain with UNOCI.)

Underlying Problems
The fact that none of President Ouattara’s supporters have been charged for crimes committed during the post-election violence suggests that the opposition may require some reassurance that elections can and will proceed fairly and that the reconciliation process will be credible. 

Options
Options include:

  • adopting a technical resolution that would keep the helicopters with UNOCI for three further months to assist during the period leading up to the parliamentary elections;
  • renewing the redeployment until the expiry of UNOCI’s current mandate in July 2012; or
  • not renewing the redeployment, allowing the helicopters to return to UNMIL.

Council Dynamics
At press time, many Council members had not finalised their positions on the cooperation arrangements set to expire in September. Nonetheless, there appeared to be consensus that any changes should be based on the Secretary-General’s recommendations, due by 15 September, and any changes to the situation in Liberia consequent to the 23 August constitutional referendum. 

UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/2000 (27 July 2011) renewed the mandate of UNOCI at its current force levels (including the earlier ad hoc increases) until 31 July 2012.
  • S/RES/1992 (29 June 2011) extended the temporary redeployment of helicopters from UNMIL to UNOCI until 30 September.
  • S/RES/1980 (28 April 2011) extended the sanctions regime and the mandate of the group of experts monitoring it for one year.
  • S/RES/1967 (19 January 2011) authorised the redeployment of aviation assets from UNMIL to UNOCI.

Secretary-General’s Report

  • S/2011/387 (24 June 2011) was the 28th progress report of the Secretary-General on UNOCI.

Letters

  • S/2011/468 (26 July 2011) and S/2011/469 (28 July 2011) was an exchange of letters containing the Secretary General’s intention to appoint Albert Gerard Koenders as Special Representative for Côte d’Ivoire and head of UNOCI.
  • S/2011/419 (7 July 2011) appointed four individuals to the group of experts for the Côte d’Ivoire sanctions committee.

Other Relevant Facts

Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of Mission

Albert Gerard Koenders (Netherlands)

UNOCI Force Commander

Maj. Gen. Gnakoudè Béréna (Togo)

UNOCI Police Commander

Maj. Gen. Jean Marie Bourry (France)

Chair of the Sanctions Committee

Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti (Brazil)

UNOCI: Size, Composition, Cost and Duration

Authorised Strength: 11,142 total uniformed personnel, including 9,600 troops, 192 military observers, 1,350 police

Strength (as of 31 July 2011): 8,974 troops, 193 military observers, 1,276 police personnel  

Main troop contributors: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Jordan, Morocco and Malawi

Annual Budget: $486.7 million

Duration: 4 April 2004 to present; mandate expires 31 July 2012

Full Forecast

 

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