31 May 2012 - Security Council - Briefing by Security Council mission to West Africa / Côte d’Ivoire- Statement by Mr Martin Briens, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations

From 20 to
22 May, Ambassador Menan of Togo and Ambassador
Araud led the Security Council mission to Côte d’Ivoire.
This eagerly awaited visit was the first since 2008 and
came a year after the end of the post-electoral crisis that
led to more than 3,000 deaths.

The Security Council met with all Ivorian political
protagonists, President Ouattara, his Prime Minister,
some of his other ministers, the Speaker of the National
Assembly, parliamentary groups and members of the
non-parliamentary opposition. The Council also met
with representatives of Ivorian civil society in Abidjan
and members of the Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation
Commission. The Council travelled to western Côte
d’Ivoire, near the Liberian border — a region that still
bears the scars of the post-electoral crisis. In the town of
Guiglo, the Council spoke directly with local people and
authorities, as well as members of the local awareness
and sensitization committee. The Council then took the
opportunity to participate in a meeting of the Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in
Abidjan. My delegation conveys its warmest thanks to
the Ivorian authorities for their welcome; the Special
Representative of the Secretary-General for Côte
d’Ivoire, Mr. Albert Koenders; and all the personnel of
the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI)
who organized our logistically complex and eventful
visit.

The Council mission’s primary task was to assess
the stabilization process in Côte d’Ivoire. Council
members were able to note that the country had made
very significant progress in scarcely a year, but that
several challenges remain regarding border security,
reconciliation, the fight against impunity and the
deep-rooted causes of the Ivorian conflict, such as
land-title disputes.

The Council spoke at length with President Ouattara
and his Government on 21 May. They detailed their
work to the Council and expressed their confidence that
the security situation would gradually improve. They
stressed that security sector reform still faced a number
of hurdles, including the lack of resources. Members
of the Council noted that the process of disarming,
demobilizing and reintegrating tens of thousands of
ex-combatants remains one of the newest and most
complex challenges, given the situation before the
elections, and that a lasting solution has yet to be found,
with the support of the United Nations.

During the course of the Council’s meetings with
associations and opposition members, rifts within society
and the political class were in clear evidence, revealing
the scope of the task of reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire.
In that regard, the Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation
Commission outlined its goals and working methods
for transitional justice. The Government also affirmed
its resolve to allay tensions and to restore and promote
political dialogue with all political groupings, without
jeopardizing the fight against impunity. That point was
emphasized by President Ouattara.

The field visit to western Côte d’Ivoire was a
turning point. The Council was able to take stock of
the new threats to peace and security that justify the
enhanced UNOCI presence in that part of the country
and strengthened means to protect civilians, including
through inter-mission cooperation with the United
Nations Mission in Liberia. Those to whom the Council
spoke on the ground expressed their serious concerns
about the movement of weapons, attacks by combatants
based in Liberia, the insecurity caused by the traditional
Dozo hunters, problems with the Ivorian security forces,
the humanitarian challenges to returns, and the confusion
surrounding land ownership.

Lastly, on 21 May, during its visit to Abidjan,
the Council was able to meet with representatives
of ECOWAS, including its Commission and several
ministers from the region. The meeting was chaired
by the Foreign Minister of Côte d’Ivoire. The debate
was interactive and wide-ranging and focused on the
situations in Mali and Guinea-Bissau. With regard to the
crisis in Mali, the mediator, Mr. Djibrill Yipènè Bassolé,
briefed the members of the Council on the latest
developments on the attack on the interim President
and on the initiatives undertaken by the mediation. We
considered potential approaches for cooperation and
agreed to maintain a close dialogue on the matter.

In conclusion, I hope I speak for everyone when I
say that this mission to Côte d’Ivoire made it possible
for the Council to better understand both the divisions
within and the exceptional resources of the country, and
consequently the major priorities for efforts to be made
by the United Nations still needed by the people of Côte
d’Ivoire in order to emerge from many years of conflict.

Dernière modification : 26/02/2015

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