Security and Justice in Cote d’Ivoire

By Erwin Knippenberg, Cote d’Ivoire Country Specialist

As ECOWAS negotiators entered a second round of talks with incumbent president Gbagbo, security and justice for Ivorian citizens must remain the main concern. Any violators of human rights can and should be held accountable to the ICC.

According to the UN, Gbago backers are responsible for 173 deaths since the election and 90 cases of torture.  Armed groups still conduct nightraids in certain neighborhoods, beating up or kidnapping people perceived as opponents to the regime. The situation could still escalate into full civil war and ethnic cleansing. We see government sponsored hate speech aimed at immigrants and attacks on peacekeepers as bad omens. In Rwanda, such racist rhetoric mixed with political concerns escalated into genocide. We cannot allow this to happen again.

Both Gbagbo and Ouattara have pledged to protect civilians, and Gbagbo explicitly condemned any groups involved in these atrocities. Yet, forces loyal to him continue in their rhetoric and have blocked UN investigations into reports of two mass graves.

Instead, Gbagbo has ordered the UN force to leave, citing violations of his country’s national sovereignty, specifically targeting France. Some of his supporters have even attacked UN peacekeepers.

Amnesty International has outlined its official position on Cote d’Ivoire, emphasizing the protection of human rights and the importance of holding violators accountable.

While negotiations continue, the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) is best able to defend human rights, and must remain. Both parties are responsible for supporting UNOCI in this mission, and should not seek to obstruct its mission.

Peace and Justice in Cote d’Ivoire are not mutually exclusive. Only by enforcing the respect of human rights can we start healing the deep wounds created by civil war, and avoid a return to conflict.

ECOWAS has taken on a crucial role as regional mediator. They’ve taken a firm stance on Cote d’Ivoire so far, cutting off Gbagbo’s finances and threatening to use force to remove him. Amnesty takes no position on the issue of legitimacy, but emphasizes that ECOWAS must prioritize security for Ivorian citizens and justice for the victims of human rights abuses.

The international community should provide UNOCI with all resources necessary for it to defend human rights in Cote d’Ivoire. It should also remind Cote d’Ivoire that, by its own consent, serious human rights violations fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC. Those responsible will be held accountable.

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8 thoughts on “Security and Justice in Cote d’Ivoire

  1. Why? It's just Africa. Ivory Coast will probably follow all the other major wars on this continent where black people cannot agree – which is like almost 100% of the continent. Look at history – Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, DRC, Tanzania, Darfur, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola … you name it, there's been a civil war there … it's only Africa. Why bother? They object to foreign interference or intervention, so just leave them alone and let them kill each other, like the animals they are, and when the dust settles, then move in and see what's left. It's only Africa. Why bother?

  2. If we don't really ask ourselves what the true Nature of the current issues in Ivory Coast are we can shoot at the Moon for all we know and are, but a solution for ivory Coast won't come. It is not money or possesiveness in Politics we're looking at. What we see is the direct impact of Colonialism tearing up a Country that was not a Nation before Colonialism hit the Countryside in the first place.
    I wrote before in the secret passage to the Whitehouse before Obama, that there's a potential massacre brewing in many of the African States by the seasons and investment rounds the Dutch Industries spread around the Countrysides. When many of the Colonies were returned to their Tribes there must have been at least 5 tribes I can prove to have been done out of their Ancient Motherlands which served as their base in Natural disastrous seasons. Netherlands did make Mince Meat of the original Tribal Grounds in returning the African provinces back to the people. When I am not at all wrong I even know where 5 Voodoo dolls that feedback the energy of corruption back into all of Africa through Media and through ether.

    It is High Time someone makes Holland answer to accusations of Warmonging and Master Race Breeding. When I cannot even make it to the American Embassy for shelter to become the WCO the CEO's want you will not excuse the word that starts with F coming from a Dutch Woman from Holland in a Gulag???:??? Arnhem is my hometwn and someone have mercy on me because Ivory Coast has been succesfully set up by the last trade visit of a Dutch delegacy.

    Thank you and have a Good Life.
    I never got one.
    Antoinette

  3. Why? It’s just Africa. Ivory Coast will probably follow all the other major wars on this continent where black people cannot agree – which is like almost 100% of the continent. Look at history – Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, DRC, Tanzania, Darfur, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola … you name it, there’s been a civil war there … it’s only Africa. Why bother? They object to foreign interference or intervention, so just leave them alone and let them kill each other, like the animals they are, and when the dust settles, then move in and see what’s left. It’s only Africa. Why bother?

  4. If we don’t really ask ourselves what the true Nature of the current issues in Ivory Coast are we can shoot at the Moon for all we know and are, but a solution for ivory Coast won’t come. It is not money or possesiveness in Politics we’re looking at. What we see is the direct impact of Colonialism tearing up a Country that was not a Nation before Colonialism hit the Countryside in the first place.
    I wrote before in the secret passage to the Whitehouse before Obama, that there’s a potential massacre brewing in many of the African States by the seasons and investment rounds the Dutch Industries spread around the Countrysides. When many of the Colonies were returned to their Tribes there must have been at least 5 tribes I can prove to have been done out of their Ancient Motherlands which served as their base in Natural disastrous seasons. Netherlands did make Mince Meat of the original Tribal Grounds in returning the African provinces back to the people. When I am not at all wrong I even know where 5 Voodoo dolls that feedback the energy of corruption back into all of Africa through Media and through ether.

    It is High Time someone makes Holland answer to accusations of Warmonging and Master Race Breeding. When I cannot even make it to the American Embassy for shelter to become the WCO the CEO’s want you will not excuse the word that starts with F coming from a Dutch Woman from Holland in a Gulag???:??? Arnhem is my hometwn and someone have mercy on me because Ivory Coast has been succesfully set up by the last trade visit of a Dutch delegacy.

    Thank you and have a Good Life.
    I never got one.
    Antoinette

  5. Ivory Coast once was the hope of Africa, the richest country and on a good way to real democracy.
    In 2010, after six times postponed presidential elections, the run-off on Nov. 28th did see Alassane Ouattara as winner by 54 to 46 per cent of the votes in the eyes of the independent international election comittee.
    Shortly after that, the constitutional council ( run by an ally of incumbent Laurent Gbagbo ) revoked this because of some suspected ipolling rregularities in the Northern parts of the country and declared Gbagbo as winner by 51 to 49 per cent.
    Most of the international organizations ( UN, ECOWAS )and countries like the U.S. and the EU recognized Ouattara as the legally elected president.
    Like many presidents all over the world before him, Gbagbo could not acccept the defeat and refuses to step down to give over to Ouat

  6. Like many presidents all over the world before him, Gbagbo could not accept the defeat and refuses to step down to give over power to Ouattara.
    Democracy for him is only right, as long as the people elect him as their president.
    This brings him close to dictatorship and this is not, what Cote d´Ivoire needs now.
    Despite of many attempts to convince him, he is not willing to retire.
    He now can be made accountable, if Cote d´Ivoire is on the way back to civil war.
    He is responsible for every loss of life, human rights violation and further atrocities.
    The people of Ivory Coast deserve the return to peace and prosperity.
    Let´s hope, the conflict can be solved soon and with no further bloodshed.

  7. Ivory Coast once was the hope of Africa, the richest country and on a good way to real democracy.
    In 2010, after six times postponed presidential elections, the run-off on Nov. 28th did see Alassane Ouattara as winner by 54 to 46 per cent of the votes in the eyes of the independent international election comittee.
    Shortly after that, the constitutional council ( run by an ally of incumbent Laurent Gbagbo ) revoked this because of some suspected ipolling rregularities in the Northern parts of the country and declared Gbagbo as winner by 51 to 49 per cent.
    Most of the international organizations ( UN, ECOWAS )and countries like the U.S. and the EU recognized Ouattara as the legally elected president.
    Like many presidents all over the world before him, Gbagbo could not acccept the defeat and refuses to step down to give over to Ouat

  8. Like many presidents all over the world before him, Gbagbo could not accept the defeat and refuses to step down to give over power to Ouattara.
    Democracy for him is only right, as long as the people elect him as their president.
    This brings him close to dictatorship and this is not, what Cote d´Ivoire needs now.
    Despite of many attempts to convince him, he is not willing to retire.
    He now can be made accountable, if Cote d´Ivoire is on the way back to civil war.
    He is responsible for every loss of life, human rights violation and further atrocities.
    The people of Ivory Coast deserve the return to peace and prosperity.
    Let´s hope, the conflict can be solved soon and with no further bloodshed.