The Ivory Coast Blog

Freedom. Stability. Independence. Prosperity.

Cote d’Ivoire Peace Process Facing Hurdles


ABIDJAN, July 1 (Xinhua) — Characterized by delays in meeting key deadlines, lack of resources and now mutinies, the implementation of the Cote d’Ivoire peace process could be headed for more trouble if something is not done urgently to rectify the situation, according to observers.

“The Cote d’Ivoire peace process is in danger, largely because Prime Minister Guillaume Soro does not have the resources to back up his policies,” Alain Lobognon, a senior military official with the former New Forces (FN) rebels, was quoted as telling reporters Monday.

Short of funds, Cote d’Ivoire, which once served as a shining example of both political and economic stability in Africa, has been calling on development partners to chip in and support key peace process programs and projects such as disarmament and demobilization of former combatants.
“The funds have been trickling in, albeit slowly than expected,” said one regional observer, adding: “If the country is to hold the much awaited presidential election in line with the November deadline, then donors will need to step up their game.”

“For Cote d’Ivoire, this is nothing short of a crisis situation,” Lobognon, a special advisor to Prime Minister Soro and also FN communication director, said, referring to a weekend uprising by FN soldiers in the central parts of the country.

“The peace process is in danger because the prime minister can ill-afford his policies,” said the FN communication director, calling on the international community to show solidarity with the Ivorian people.

Guillaume Soro, who was appointed as the prime minister in a transitional government formed shortly after a comprehensive peace agreement was signed between the government and the FN in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in March 2007, “does not have the means to move the process forward,” said a regional political commentator.

Charged with overseeing the implementation of the program to end the crisis that has bedeviled the country since September 2002,” Prime Minister Soro is faced with a difficult task that includes demobilizing, disarming and reintegrating former combatants, which is a costly process by any standards,” according to an Abidjan-based African diplomat.

On himself, the prime minister cannot “afford the implementation of the peace process,” said his advisor, who denounced lack of support from the international community.

“We are always told to expect aid that never comes,” said Lobognon.

Meanwhile, the Cote d’Ivoire government is holding a round table with donors, mainly drawn from the Arab world, as part of efforts to seek “special emergency” funds to spur the implementation of the six-year old peace process.

The two-day panel meeting, which began Monday in the economic capital of Abidjan, is being attended by representatives of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the OPEC Fund as wells as officials from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

The funds will be used to rehabilitate infrastructure facilities that have been damaged since the outbreak of the politico-military crisis in September 2002 in order to enable people to “maintain an acceptable standard of living,” the government said in a statement issued ahead of the meeting.

Addressing the opening session of the meeting, Cote d’Ivoire’s Economy Minister Charles Diby Koffi said that his government had set aside 3 billion CFA francs (about 7 million U.S. dollars) to finance the program in 2008 despite “severe budgetary constraints.”

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July 1, 2008 - Posted by | Peace Process | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you for making this blog. We are very proud of our President , and 95% of all Citizen of Cote d’ivoire cannot wait to vote for him on November 30th 2008. This man deserves my vote because he is the only one who loves the supreme law of our land: the constitution of Cote d’ivoire. Therefore he is qualified to get the job done.

    Comment by dounabegnon | July 1, 2008 | Reply

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