Update Report

Posted 13 July 2007
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Update Report No.1: Côte d’Ivoire

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Expected Council Action
Before the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) expires on 16 July, the Council is expected to adopt a resolution adapting the role of the UN in Cote d’Ivoire in line with the changed circumstances in the country since the signing of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement on 4 March. The new resolution is likely to be an endorsement of the Secretary-General’s recommendations contained in his 14 May report on the future role of the UN, focusing mainly on the following elements:

  • the role of UNOCI;
  • the role of the Secretary General’s Special Representative (SRSG); and
  • the future of the post /mandate of the High Representative for the Elections.

(Please see our June 2007 Forecast for more details)

Key Recent Developments
A Council mission visited Cote d’Ivoire on 18 and 19 June to assess the progress of the peace process in the country and exchange views with the Ivorian parties on how to move forward the peace process. The deliberations included encouraging the parties to fully implement the Ouagadougou Agreement and expressing the Council’s readiness to assist in that respect, calling upon the parties to ensure conditions are made conducive for the holding of elections and welcoming the fact that the parties and the facilitator of the peace process have emphasised the importance of continued UN assistance.

On 29 June Prime Minister Guillaume Soro’s aircraft came under attack as it came in to land in the northern Ivorian city of Bouaké, the headquarters of his former rebel group. Four people were killed and a number injured from the attack but Prime Minister Soro emerged unhurt. UNOCI subsequently endorsed the Prime Minister’s call for an independent international inquiry into the incident. With the unidentified perpetrators still at large, there is lingering concern that the attack might reverse the evident reduction in tensions in the country since the March agreement.

The Officer-in-Charge of UNOCI, Abou Moussa, met with the facilitator of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement, President Blaise Campoaré of Burkina Faso, in Ouagadougou on 5 July to assist in ensuring full implementation of the peace process in the wake of the attack on Soro.

On 29 June, the Council adopted a rollover resolution extending the mandate of UNOCI until 16 July to give itself some extra time to come up with measures that would adequately address the new situation on the ground and that would incorporate the Council’s thinking following the trip to the country.

On 20 June the Council adopted resolution 1761 (2007) extending the mandate of the sanctions implementation Group of Experts until 31 October. It also requested the Group to submit a written update to the Council on the implementation of the sanctions regime, as well as recommendations in that regard.

Council Dynamics
It is unlikely that there will be major disagreement among Council members in adopting the Secretary-General’s recommendations on the role of the UN in the Ivorian peace process. Council members are currently fine-tuning a draft resolution prepared by the French delegation. When this report was being written agreement appeared to have been achieved among members on a number of elements including:

  • renewing the mandate of UNOCI and the French forces until 15 January 2008 to support the election process, with the possibility of further renewal as appropriate;
  • reviewing the mandates of UNOCI and the French forces by 15 October, as well as the troop-level of UNOCI;
  • termination of the mandate of the High Representative for the Elections and the assumption of related functions by the SRSG in Cote d’Ivoire who would be equipped with a dedicated support cell for this part of the mandate;
  • calling on relevant parties to ensure the protection of children and vulnerable populations in accordance with the requirements of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement; and
  • supporting the establishment of a consultative organ comprising of the SRSG, the resident co-ordinator of the UN system, representatives of the Bretton Woods institutions, the European Union, the African Union, the African Development Bank, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and France to work with the Facilitator and Ivorian political forces in implementing the Ouagadougou Political Agreement.

In another development, action on the earlier request by the facilitator of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement for the partial lifting of sanctions for light weapons has waned following consultations with relevant stakeholders during the Council’s recent trip to the country. The Council now appears ready to receive a request from the government of Cote d’Ivoire for an exemption from the arms embargo. Members of the Council seem to find this latter option much more acceptable since the Council has traditionally been wary of any form of lifting of sanctions, especially when the potential exists for such action to result in derailing hard-won cessation of hostilities. The sanctions measures currently in place include an arms embargo, targeted travel ban, assets freeze, as well as a diamond trade restriction.

UN Documents

Latest Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1763 (29 June 2007) extended the UNOCI mandate until 16 July.
  • S/RES/1761 (20 June 2007) extended the mandate of the Group of Experts until 31 October.
  • S/RES/1721 (1 November 2006) prolonged by one year the transitional period in Côte d’Ivoire and reinforced the powers of the prime minister.

Latest Presidential Statement

  • S/PRST/2007/8 (28 March 2007) endorsed the Ouagadougou Agreement, supported the appointment of Soro as prime minister and requested a report from the Secretary-General on the UN’s future role in the peace process.

Latest Secretary-General’s Report

Other UN Documents

  • S/2007/223 (19 April 2007) was the latest IWG communiqué, requesting its two co-chairs to consult with ECOWAS and the African Union on its future role and make recommendations to the Security Council.
  • S/2007/144 (13 March 2007) contained the Ouagadougou Agreement.

Other Relevant Facts

Special Representative of the Secretary-General

To be appointed

Principal Deputy Special Representative

Abou Moussa (Chad)

Group of Experts

Oumar Dieye Sidi, Niger (customs/ Co-ordinator of the GoE)
Grégoire Bafouatika, Congo (aviation)
Lipika Majumdar Roy Choudhury, India (finance)
Abdoul Wahab Diakhaby, Guinea (diamonds)
Claudio Gramizzi, Italy (arms)

Size and Composition of UNOCI

  • Authorised strength as of 2 June 2006: up to 8,115 military personnel and up to 1,200 police
  • Strength as of 30 May 2007: 9,200 total uniformed personnel, including 7,848 troops, 195 military observers and 1,162 police
  • Key troop-contributing countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan

Approved UNOCI budget

1 July 2007 – 30 June 2008 $493.70 million