On 27 January 2014, the Security Council met to assess the situation in Côte d’Ivoire in presence of Special Representative of the Secretary-general in Côte d’Ivoire and head of the UN Mission in the country (UNOCI), Ms. Aïchatou Mindaoudou. Ms. Mindaoudou, via VTC from Abidjan, stated that some progress has been achieved in the country through Government-initiated reforms in particular on the control of funding of political parties. She reported on positive evolutions in the political dialogue between the different factions (FPI, RDR). However, she noted that the situation still remained fragile with an increase in inter-communitarian and interethnic violence. Consequently, she requested members of the Council to remain vigilant. During private consultations, the Permanent Representative of France welcomed the favorable evolution in Côte d’Ivoire and noted no attack occurred in the past year. This calm allowed an economic boost that contributed to the stability of the country. Mr Araud acknowledged the efforts of dialogue and reconciliation between various political groups –Front populaire ivoirien (Ivory Popular Front) and former dignitaries of Laurent Gbagbo- but he stressed the importance of launching as soon as possible the security sector reform. France also called for the implementation of resolution 2112 which progressively transfers civil tasks from the UNOCI to the Ivorian state.
On 9 December 2013, the existing chairs of the subsidiary bodies of the Council presented the results of their work.
The chairman of the sanctions committee 1572 on Côte d’Ivoire, permanent representative of Guatemala, shared three reports in the areas of follow-up of the means of communication, arms embargo monitoring and human rights. He deplored considerable gaps in the implementation of sanctions, in particular in the area of the arms embargo. Despite all that, Côte d’Ivoire was progressing in the right direction towards stability, peace and security.
On 24 October 2013, Mr. Gert Rosenthal, Chairman of the sanction Committee and Permanent Representative of Guatemala, presented during closed consultations his progress report.
France encouraged to look at the situation in Côte d’Ivoire within a general context. The Representative of France welcomed again the positive developments of the situation in the country, both in terms of security and in the economic field. However, he noted that significant challenges remained: Security Sector Reform and the DDR process were implemented too slowly. He also mentioned the topic of illicit trafficking of weapons and encouraged a renewal of the sanctions regime this June.
The complete timeline of events here.
- Alassane Ouattara, winner of the November 2010 Presidential Election
The Ivorian parties reached an agreement, brokered by facilitator President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, in Ouagadougou on 4 March 2007 on a political resolution of the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. The agreement was complemented with supplementary agreements to appoint Guillaume Soro, Secretary General of the "Forces Nouvelles", as Prime Minister (in March 2007), and set a new timetable in November 2007 (two years late) for open, free, fair and transparent elections in conformity with international norms.
The UNSG special representative, Mr. Youn-Jin Choi, was tasked to certify every stage of the electoral process.
The presidential election, was postponed several times. This prompted many reactions from the Security Council in the form of resolutions, presidential statements and press statements.
The first round of the presidential elections finally took place on 31 October 2010 and the run-off on 28 November. The results were announced by the Independent Electoral Committee on 2 December giving Alassane Ouattara as the winner (see the statements of French President Sarkozy and communiqués of the Presidency of 1st to 8th December). Outgoing president Gbagbo refused to transfer power to Mr Ouattara despite calls to do so by the international community.
Fighting broke out in Abidjan, the capital of the country, between forces loyal to Gbagbo and President Ouattara’s forces. Faced with a deteriorating situation, the UN Security Council met several times during the crisis to call for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
In response to the use of heavy weapons against civilian populations, the Security Council adopted unanimously resolution 1975 on 30 March 2011, submitted by France and Nigeria.
With this resolution, the Security Council:
— urges Gbagbo to immediately step aside;
— stresses its full support given to UNOCI to use "all necessary means to carry out its mandate to protect civilians (…) including to prevent the use of heavy weapons";
— imposes targeted sanctions (freezing of assets, travel bans) against Laurent Gbagbo, his wife Simone Gbagbo, the Secretary General of the so-called "presidency" Mr. Désiré Tagro, the chairman of the Ivorian Popular Front Pascal Affi N’Guessan;
— recognizes the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court to try perpetrators of serious crimes in Côte d’Ivoire;
— makes explicit reference to the responsibility to protect.
On 11 April 2011, Laurent Gbagbo was arrested by President Ouattara’s forces. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, announced on 6 April his intention to open an inquiry on the crimes committed in Côte d’Ivoire.
On 5 May, the Ivorian Constitutional Court recognized the electoral victory of President Ouattara.
On 21 May, in Yamoussoukro, Alassane Ouattara was inaugurated as president of Côte d’Ivoire in the presence of several Heads of State and Government, including President Sarkozy.
- On the ground, a UN peacekeeping operation (UNOCI) and French troops ("Licorne")
On the ground, the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), in place since 2004 (resolution 1528), comprises 11000 troops. UNMIL contingents (three infantry companies and an aviation unit comprised of two military utility helicopters) were temporarily transferred to UNOCI on 24 November 2010 by resolution 1951 in the run-up to the second round of the Ivorian presidential election.
The French force "Licorne" is deployed on the ground to support the action of UNOCI. At the height of the 2010-2011 political crisis, the troops of Licorne were strengthened to 1700. Since the arrest of Laurent Gbagbo, the contingent has resumed its usual size of approximately 900 troops.
The mandate of UNOCI was reviewed in June 2010 (resolution 1933) and structured around three main tasks:
— The stability of the country including the protection of civilians, which was more clearly spelled out than in the previous mandate and presented as a priority.
— Support for the election process and especially the independent electoral commission.
— Other tasks, including disarmament and the return of an effective state presence throughout the territory.
There was no need to change the mandate of UNOCI during the 2010-2011 political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, as its mandate included protecting civilian populations.
Resolution 1981 of 13 May 2011 renews the mandate of UNOCI until 31 July 2011 and extends the temporary redeployment of three infantry companies and an aviation unit from UNMIL until 30 June 2011.
Security Council Resolution 2000 (27 July 2011) extends the mandate of UNOCI until 31 July 2012 and keeps the level of troops unchanged.
- UN Sanctions
The Security Council introduced a sanctions regime in November 2004 (resolution 1572 (2004)) which includes an arms embargo, individual sanctions (travel bans, freezing of assets) against three Ivorian individuals (Messrs. Charles Blé Goudé and Eugene Djué for the galaxie présidentielle and Mr. Fofié, Zone Commander of the Forces nouvelles), as well as an embargo on the export of diamonds. The regime is renewed every six months, lately with Resolution 1946 of 15 October 2010. Resolution 1946 stressed that the Council remained ready to impose sanctions against those, including media actors, who might obstruct the electoral process.
New sanctions were imposed by resolution 1975, unanimously adopted on 30 March 2011 (freezing of assets and travel ban). They target Laurent Gbagbo, his wife Simone Gbagbo, the Secretary General of the so-called "presidency" Mr. Désiré Tagro, the chairman of the Ivorian Popular Front Pascal Affi N’Guessan and Mr. Alcide Djedje, close adviser to M. Gbagbo.
The sanctions regime on Côte d’Ivoire has been extended for one year with the support of the new Ivorian authorities, by resolution 1980 of the Security Council, unanimously adopted on 28 April 2011. Resolution 1980 is designed to support the normalization process in Côte d’Ivoire and the pacification of the national dialogue. It includes an evaluation of the effects of its implementation six months after its adoption and facilitates the purchase of equipment to maintain public order in the framework of the reform of the security sector.
Traditionally France is the country that drafts resolutions and presidential and press statements before they are negotiated at the Security Council.
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
13 May 2011 - Security Council - UNOCI/Côte d’Ivoire - Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, President of the Security Council
All French statements here.
30 July 2013 - Security Council - Resolution 2112 renewing for one year UNOCI’s mandate.
25 April 2013 - Security Council - Resolution 2101
26 July 2012 - Security Council - Resolution 2062 which extended the mandate of UNOCI for one year
26 April 2012 - Resolution 2045
27 July 2011 - Resolution 2000 extending the mandate of UNOCI until 31 July 2012
13 May 2011 - Côte d’Ivoire - Resolution 1981
28 April 2011 - Côte d’Ivoire - Resolution 1980
13 April 2011 - Côte d’Ivoire - Press statement by the President of the Security Council
30 March 2011 - Resolution 1975
11 March 2011 - Côte d’Ivoire - Press statement by the President of the Security Council
3 March 2011 - Cote d’Ivoire - Press statement by the President of the Security Council
19 January 2011 - Resolution 1967 authorizing the deployment of an extra 2000 troops and extending UNOCI’s mandate until 30 June
10 January 2011 - Cote d’Ivoire - Press statement by the President of the Security Council
20 December 2010 - Resolution 1962 extending UNOCI’s mandate
20 December 2010 - Cote d’Ivoire - Press statement by the President of the Security Council renewed warnings to the perpetrators of attacks against civilians and the staff of UNOCI
16 December 2010 - Cote d’Ivoire - Press statement by the President of the Security Council warned against acts of violence against civilians
8 December 2010 - Cote d’Ivoire - Press statement by the President of the Security Council calling all stakeholders to respect the outcome of the election won by Mr Ouattara
1-8 December 2010 - Cote d’Ivoire/Elections - Communiqués issued by the Presidency of the Republic
2 December 2010 - Cote d’Ivoire/Election - Press Statement by the President of the Security Council welcoming the announcement of the provisional results
24 November 2010 - Resolution 1951 transfer of UNMIL troops
15 October 2010 - Resolution 1946 - Extension of the sanctions regime
29 September 2010 - Resolution 1942 - Increase of UNOCI’s military and police personnel by 500 troops
15 November 2004 - Resolution 1572 - Establishing an arms embargo
27 February 2004 - Resolution 1528 - Establishing UNOCI
Consult the file on Côte d’Ivoire on the French Foreign Ministry’s website
Visit the ONUCI’s website (in French)