City of Wilmington County of New Castle

History of our country’s crisis

Democracy is a universal mode of appointing the leaders of any modern country which claims it by the free choice of the people. This principle is based on rules, namely:

  • Freedom in the vote,
  • Equality between citizens
  • The alternation in power,

All these rules, to be inviolable, are set up in law or fixed squarely in the Constitution. In a summary analysis of the socio-political situation in Côte d’Ivoire, from 2000, we have to admit that democracy has not been clearly applied in our country, despite the very active involvement of the international community in process.

1- Denying of the prerequisites for democratic elections in 2010.

It was on August 7, 1960, that the independence of Côte d’Ivoire, once colonized by the France, was proclaimed. With as first President of the Republic the late Félix Houphouët-Boigny. The latter died in power on 7 December 1993 and the then President of the National Assembly, Henri Konan Bédié, completed this last term until October 1995 when a new presidential election was held. Unfortunately, this presidential election will not see the participation of the main opponents of the time, the outgoing Prime Minister, the economist Alassane Ouattara and the historical opponent against the single party that died in 1990, the historian Laurent Gbagbo.

Very sadly, in December 1999, President Bédié’s second term was interrupted by a military coup. This coup d’état marks the beginning of the long series of obstacles to democracy accompanied by the worst violence and human rights violations that Côte d’Ivoire and Ivorians have experienced since that date to date.

Indeed, the military transition ends with a presidential election that is all in all democratic, which sees the coming to power of Mr. Laurent Gbagbo, in « calamitous conditions », in his own words.  General Robert Guéi, leader of the putschists, had tried to snatch victory by force; that the people refused by taking to the streets, sacrificing at least three hundred human lives.

But under Laurent Gbagbo, Côte d’Ivoire will experience the worst, both internally and externally. Never before has a power in Africa fought so hard. Especially by the former colonizer, the France chaired first by Jacques Chirac and then Nicolas Sarkozy. But it is above all this last French leader, Nicolas Sarkozy cites, who makes it possible to understand how much the France did not want Gbagbo, socialist and populist, defending the interests and nationalist ideals at the head of this rich Ivory Coast that counts so much in the economy of the French metropole.

This Ivorian head of state Laurent Gbagbo will therefore face obstacles of all kinds, before openly suffering the attacks of a hyper-armed rebellion in September 2002. This is the real beginning of the 2010 post-election crisis.

Curiously, the Ivorian rebels will benefit from the thinly veiled protection and support of sub-regional organizations, ECOWAS and the AU, as well as the mentorship of Sarkozy’s France. Thus, rather than disavow, condemns these rebels so that they are disarmed as soon as possible, they were recognized and legitimized at the meeting organized by the French leaders in Linas Marcoussis, in January 2003.

Therefore, it is without having carried out the prior disarmament that the presidential election will finally take place in October 2010 or the certification of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN, Mr. Yuan J. Shoi, who did not deign to raise this prerequisite. And the rest did not fail: the two candidates of the second round, Gbagbo and Ouattara will declare themselves winners of the election, plunging the country into a quasi-civil war officially totaling at least three thousand deaths.



2- The undeniable responsibilities of the France in the Ivorian crisis.*

Why is the France to be considered primarily responsible for the democratic breakdown that we have seen in Côte d’Ivoire since the post-election crisis of 2010 to date?

Firstly, because in view of what this country represents, especially from an economic point of view, in West Africa and for the France, the French authorities have always been involved in the management of crisis situations shaking this sub-Saharan country because France has so many very important interests in our country. This can easily be understood by the presence in Abidjan so far of the 43rd military infantry battalion of Abidjan (43rd Bima). Whenever a crisis situation has arisen in Côte d’Ivoire, the France has always been extremely concerned about it, sometimes inviting itself in the search for solutions.

Thus, when the attacks of the rebellion broke out on the night of 18 to 19 September 2002 and the national armed forces managed to push the attackers back to Bouaké, a town located in the Center of the CI. It was the French military who intervened between the two parties after Yamoussoukro boasting that the UN did not transform the French interposition into a « buffer zone ». If officially it was suggested that it was a question of limiting the clashes, for many Ivorians, it was a maneuver of the France to protect their « foals, » the rebels who were seriously in disarray.

Then, while talks were under way in Togo to conclude a ceasefire and put an end to hostilities, it was again the France who hastily improvised a round table on French territory, in Linas Marcoussis, in January 2003, where it was clearly aimed at stripping the President of the Republic, Laurent Gbagbo of his prerogatives, by entrusting most of the power to a new so-called consensus Prime Minister.

Then, while talks were under way in Togo to conclude a ceasefire and put an end to hostilities, it was again the France who hastily improvised a round table on French territory, in Linas Marcoussis, in January 2003, where it was clearly aimed at stripping the President of the Republic, Laurent Gbagbo of his prerogatives, by entrusting most of the power to a new so-called consensus Prime Minister.

In addition, on the basis of this agreement, which violated the Ivorian Constitution, the France will take the initiative in the UN Security Council of resolutions 1633 and 1721 weakening Gbagbo’s power.

Finally, still in its logic of ousting Mr. Laurent Gbagbo from power — everything led to believe it — Sarkozy’s France will obtain from the United Nations the right to involve its Unicorn troops, in order to install in power its candidate for the 2010 presidential election, Mr. Alassane Ouattara.

So, if the French authorities have revealed themselves so much in this post-election crisis, even activating their soldiers, even those with the UN resolution 1975, to act in what way has the UN also been responsible for this war that caused several thousand deaths in the country?


3- Part of responsibility of the UN ?

One can easily accuse the France of interfering in the internal affairs of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and of violating the sovereignty of that country, because the acts taken, the speeches of injunction of the French leaders towards the Ivorian counterpart were too flagrant and rude. This was not the case for the responsibilities of the leaders of the United Nations, both at the central level, at the headquarters of the institution, and in Abidjan.

Pour les observateurs avisés de la crise ivoirienne de 2010-2011, tout est parti d’une très mauvaise application d’un mandat de l’ONU de la part du représentant spécial de Ban ki Forastute observers of the Ivorian crisis of 2010-2011, everything started from a very bad application of a UN mandate on the part of the special representative of Ban ki Moon, then Secretary General of the UN.

Moon, alors Secrétaire Général de l’ONU.

Indeed, in accordance   with the resolution establishing the Certification, the UN mission  was to be limited to evaluating the electoral process of the presidential election, before the conduct and the results; but never did the special representative of Ban Ki Moon have to proclaim the results as he had to do, p Since the Constitution of Côte d’Ivoire was still in force in the crisis, he could not replace the country’s institutions, this was clearly written in his mandate. But he has exceeded his mandate. And that’s a shame!

From then on, the intervention of the French army in the conflict, even supplanting the peacekeepers, was certainly intended to preserve the interests of the France, but ultimately to save the image of the UN that was originally.

4- In conclusion: From war in 2010 to Reconciliation and Peace today.

At the end of this tragic presidential election and its share of deaths officially estimated at more than three thousand, the new power at the insistence of the international community saw fit to bring the dignitaries of the deposed regime before the courts.

Thus, former President Laurent Gbagbo was transferred to the International Criminal Court, as was the one who has always been considered his henchman, the young tribune Charles Blé Goudé. Both will face a lengthy trial from 2012 to 2021, where they were finally acquitted.

Therefore, Reconciliation and Peace are now imposed on Côte d’Ivoire and Ivorians!

With this in mind, FIDHOP, a civil society structure known as the Ivorian Foundation for the Observation and Monitoring of Human Rights and Political Life, which has taken a very active part throughout the crisis through its founding President, denouncing the serious violations of Human Rights and the biases of the international community,  in particular the interference of the France in the domestic politics of Côte d’Ivoire, to the point of finding itself in exile for ten years, has decided to engage from now on in national reconciliation in the intars of Mrs. Jeannette Dick, through International Peace and Unity Foundation is committed to Peace in all directions, the Campaign and Pomotion of Citizen Ethics.

Document produced by:

Dr. Gervais Sako Boga,

Teacher-Researcher at the University,

Expert and Consultant in Human Rights and Conflict Resolution,

President-Founder of the Ivorian Foundation for Human Rights and Political Life (FIDHOP),   //


With the Contribution of:

Ms. Jeannette Dick,

President/Founder of

International Peace and Unity Foundation