Magazine article New African

Cote d'Ivoire: Light at the End of the Tunnel; after Months of Stalled Progress, There Is Fresh Yet Cautious Hope a New Peace Accord Could Begin the Tentative Process of Ending the Current Stalemate and Paving the Way towards the Presidential Elections Timetabled for October. Stuart Price Reports

Magazine article New African

Cote d'Ivoire: Light at the End of the Tunnel; after Months of Stalled Progress, There Is Fresh Yet Cautious Hope a New Peace Accord Could Begin the Tentative Process of Ending the Current Stalemate and Paving the Way towards the Presidential Elections Timetabled for October. Stuart Price Reports

Article excerpt

The stuttering peace process in Cote d'Ivoire received a much needed shot in the arm in April following the latest peace agreement signed in the South African capital, Pretoria. This latest accord was brokered by President Thabo Mbeki. In the wake of the agreement, two of the rebel New Forces ministers returned to the broad-based power sharing government of reconciliation in the capital, Abidjan.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

It has been five deadlocked months since any of the nine opposition ministers partook in affairs of government after loyalist forces reneged on a previous ceasefire agreement and attacked rebel-held positions in November 2004. Yet their travelling to what at present amounts to dangerous territory to attend a weekly cabinet meeting is a small, albeit encouraging sign.

Once hailed as a beacon of stability in a volatile West African region, Cote d'Ivoire has more or less been divided in half since the end of 2002. An unsuccessful coup by disgruntled soldiers of the national army led to an uprising by rebel forces from the north against the government from the south.

But while previous accords have been agreed and subsequently violated, the Pretoria Accord signed on the 6 April gives a degree of guarded optimism that the country could be about to experience the endgame of more than two years of civil war. But many issues still remain.

The prickliest of these, which for the rebels has been a major bone of contention, is the sanction of Cote d'Ivoire's chief political players to be allowed to compete in presidential elections. Unassociated with the fighting but nevertheless very important, the most significant of these is opposition leader Alassane Ouattara of the Rally of the Republicans (RDR).

In the 2000 presidential elections, he was barred from running for state house on the grounds that his father was Burkinabe--a highly contentious and disputed issue--therefore rendering him ineligible.

Ouattara enjoys wide support in the north of the country, and if allowed to stand against a divided south, where a degree of animosity against Gbagbo exists ostensibly as a result of the country's spectacular fall from grace occurring on his watch, he would be a serious contender. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.