Ivory Coast. Despite repeated peace agreements after the civil war of 2002–03, the Ivory Coast also failed in 2009 to return to real peace and a people-elected democratic government. While the rebels in the north in May handed over the administration of the districts they controlled to civilian officials appointed by the unifying government, the disarmament stipulated by the peace agreement was not respected.
According to a UN report, both sides of the conflict devoted themselves to building new weapons stockpiles. Neighboring Burkina Faso was accused of supplying weapons and ammunition to a large extent to the rebels. In July, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the UNOCI peacekeeping force to 31 January 2010, as did the mandate of the French military force supporting UNOCI.
According to countryaah, the registration of voters was reported to have been completed in July, but in October, the electoral authorities announced that there were problems with voting lengths, which meant that the announced presidential election in November had to be postponed once again. The election, intended to formally put an end to the long conflict that divided the country between the north and the south, was originally to have been carried out as early as 2005.
In October, the Security Council decided to extend for another year the arms embargo on the Ivory Coast, as well as the ban on the country from selling diamonds.
Dutch oil trading company Trafigura agreed in September to pay US $ 46 million to about 30,000 people who claimed they became ill when people hired by the company dumped toxic waste on landfills in Abidjan in 2006. In 2007, the company paid US $ 200 million to Ivorian the state, but only half of the sum went to the injured, the rest retained the government. The new sum was deposited into the accounts of an organization that represented the victims, but a court ruled that the money would be distributed directly to the victims, as it considered the risk of the money to remain with the organization.
Worried presidential election in Ivory Coast
The presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire is being carried out as planned. Some reports come about unrest in connection with the election. At least two people have been killed in clashes in Tiebissou and Oume near the capital Yamassoukro. There was also information that polling stations had been looted and election materials burned in areas where the opposition is strong. According to representatives of the opposition, voters in large parts of the country have heeded its call to boycott the election, or have been prevented from voting, while the government side says that it has largely gone smoothly. The independent election observation organization Indigo Côte d’Ivoire says, according to the American newspaper Washington Post, that just over a fifth of the polling stations were closed during election day. Opposition politicians Henri Konan Bédié and Pascal Affi N ‘ Guessan calls for a transition to “civilian rule” after the election, while President Ouattara urges calm. The election commission CEI says that the first results show a clear lead for Ouattara.
Excited before the presidential election
In the days before the presidential election, the situation in the Ivory Coast is tense. It is still unclear whether President Alassane Ouattara will face one or three opponents in the election. Former President Henri Konan Bédié of the opposition party PDCI and former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan of the FPI have called on their supporters to boycott elections in protest of Ouattara running for a third term, which they say is unconstitutional (see also October 15, 2020), but they do not appear to have officially withdrawn from the election campaign (some sources count them as candidates, while others only mention Kouadio Konan Bertin, who previously belonged to Bédié’s party but now stands as an independent). Earlier this week, it was reported that security forces had clashed with young supporters of Bédié who had set up barricades in and around the town of Daoukro to protest against Ouattara running in the election.
New unrest in Abidjan
New unrest breaks out at Abidjan University, between the student organization Fesci, which supports the opposition, and people entering the university campus. Several students tell the media that there are about 50 people armed with clubs and machetes. In the past, students have protested against Ouattara by setting cars on fire.
A death in connection with opposition protests
At least one person is killed and several are seriously injured in connection with an opposition protest in the country’s largest city Abidjan. According to media reports, the man was shot dead by military police. Most of the protesters are young people who set up roadblocks on a main road between Abidjan and the city of Bounoua. Unrest has also been reported from Dabou, Divo and the capital Yamoussoukro.
Riots in Bongouanou
Former Prime Minister Pascal Affi Nguessan, who recently called for a boycott of the presidential election (see October 15, 2020), has his residence in Bongouanou, some 20 miles northeast of Abidjan, burned down. A school was also burned down. A few days earlier, two people had been killed in clashes between rival groups in Bongouanou, a stronghold of the opposition, in connection with the official launch of the presidential election campaign. The various ethnic groups, agni and diola, accuse each other of having caused the unrest. On the same day, a delegation from the West African cooperation organization Ecowas arrives to try to mediate between the presidential candidates.
President Ouattara says no to dialogue with the opposition
President Alassane Ouattara rejects propaganda from the two opposition candidates who appear to have dropped out of the presidential election to postpone the election in order to hold a dialogue with the opposition. In a speech to about 500 traditional leaders in the northern city of Bouaké, he accuses opposition politicians of being afraid to face him in an election because they know that he, “Ado”, is “the best candidate”. At the same time, some opposition supporters seemed to heed the defected candidates’ call for civil disobedience, including blocking roads in Abidjan and elsewhere.
Opposition candidates call for a boycott of the presidential election
Two opposition candidates, former president Henri Konan Bédié of the opposition PDCI party and former prime minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan of the FPI constitution was adopted in 2016, and according to the president, the restrictions for re-election after that apply, and the elections that took place under the previous constitution should not be counted). They say they will use all legal means they can to achieve this and at the same time accuse the country’s election commission of preparing for election fraud. However, it was unclear whether they withdrew from the election altogether, as different sources drew different conclusions about this. Assessors warn that the risk of unrest is now increasing.
Sharp rise in cocoa prices
President Allassane Ouattara announces that the cocoa price paid to farmers will be increased by 21 percent for the 2020/2021 season. The announcement takes place during the cocoa industry’s annual trade fair in the capital Yamoussoukro. The price shall be valid for one year. About five million Ivorians, about one in five, depend on the cocoa sector for their livelihood. Cocoa accounts for between 10 and 15 percent of Côte d’Ivoire’s GDP and about 40 percent of exports, according to figures from the World Bank. A similar increase in producer prices is being implemented in Ghana, which is also a major cocoa producer. The two countries have worked together to try to bring about an increase in the world market price of cocoa.