Tag Archives: Côte d’Ivoire

Ouattara III term confirmed by Judges

Brussels 09.11.2020 A week after the announcement of the victory of Alassane Ouattara, the Constitutional Council confirms the results published by the Electoral Commission, which gave 94.27% of the vote to the outgoing President.

https://twitter.com/jeune_afrique/status/1325803663496007680?s=20

The Ivorian Constitutional Council declared the ballot “regular” and validated, this Monday, November 9, the final results of the Ivorian presidential election of October 31, confirming those proclaimed a week earlier by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI).

Alassane Ouattara, 78, was officially elected for a third term with 94.27% of the votes cast, following a campaign marked by an “active boycott” of the opposition. The participation rate is 53.90%.

Côte d’Ivoire: EU notes disparities

“The European Union (EU) takes note of the announcement of the provisional results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). The lack of consensus on the electoral framework has fractured the country. Many Ivorians went to the polls, but many others did not, either by choice or by impediment due to violence and blockades” the head of the European Union diplomacy wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

“The EU notes the very wide disparities in the participation rate in the different regions of the country, as highlighted by several election observation missions present there.
“The EU expresses its deep concern at the tensions, provocations and incitement to hatred that prevailed and continue to persist in the country around this election. The violence which has caused the death of several people and injured many must be independently investigated so that justice can be served as soon as possible.

“The EU expects all stakeholders to take the initiative in favour of calming the climate and resuming dialogue, involving new generations and promoting reconciliation through very concrete measures that will turn the page on violence and division. It will support any effort deployed in this direction by national and international actors”.

Côte d’Ivoire: EU concerned with violence

“On the eve of the presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire, the European Union associates itself with the statement by the Secretary General of the United Nations” reads the statement of the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, addressing the upcoming presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire.

“It expresses its greatest concern following the violent incidents and hate speech observed in recent weeks. “She urges all political actors to show responsibility, restraint and reject any violence.
It calls on the institutions in charge of the electoral process to ensure a transparent, credible and peaceful ballot”.

Ivorian voters have planned vote this Saturday, October 31, to designate their President. The campaign for this ballot has already resulted in around thirty deaths – mainly due to hate crimes between the north and south – and there are fears of new violence on the election day and during the announcement of the results.

The opposition parties have insisted that the incumbent President Ouattara has served the maximum two terms allowed by the Constitution. Mr Ouattara’s supporters insist that the two-term limit was reset when a new constitution was adopted in 2016.

Henri Konan Bédié, 86, from Democratic Party of Ivory Coast (PCDI). Served as president between 1993 and 1999, deposed in coup, and Pascal Affi N’Guessan, 67, from Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) faction, who served as prime minister between 2000 and 2003 under then-President Laurent Gbagbo are the major competitors of the incumbent President Ouattara.

EU supports cocoa producers

Brussels, 23.09.2020 “The construction of the new industrial complex will allow the local processing of one million tons of cocoa against 650,000 tons today, the creation of jobs, the increase in State revenues and the strengthening of the economic growth of our country” Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara said, at inauguration of the event. Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana account for almost two thirds of world cocoa output.

The cocoa producers also attracted attention of the EU, the biggest importer of the African cocoa beans, on average consuming almost a half of the produced amount. This week the European Commission has launched an initiative to improve sustainability in the cocoa sector. A new multi-stakeholder dialogue brings together representatives of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana – the two main cocoa producing countries accounting for 70% of global cocoa production – as well as representatives of the European Parliament, EU Member States, cocoa growers and civil society. The dialogue aims to deliver concrete recommendations to advance sustainability across the cocoa supply chain through collective action and partnerships. The new dialogue will be supported by technical assistance for cocoa producing countries.

“The cocoa sector is important for the EU and our trading partners. Today’s launch of the multi-stakeholder dialogue for sustainable cocoa will help to guide the sector’s recovery from Covid-19, while also finding solutions to existing sustainability challenges. We plan to develop concrete recommendations on sustainable cocoa as trade is not only about growth and profits, but also the social and environmental impact of our policies,” executive Vice-President and acting Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said.

“When we talk about cocoa, sustainability is key” said Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships. “Lifting up the three pillars of sustainable development in one go – social, economic and environmental – is possible. We stand ready to act as an honest broker to create the foundation of a new international framework for sustainable cocoa.”

A series of thematic groups set under the multi-stakeholder dialogue will meet between October 2020 and July 2021 to: discuss ways to encourage responsible practices of EU businesses involved in cocoa supply chains;
feed into other relevant ongoing Commission initiatives, including on due diligence and deforestation;
feed into the policy discussions between the EU and the involved cocoa producing countries: Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana; guide the European Commission in the design and deployment of support projects on sustainable cocoa production.
A plenary session in autumn 2021 will take stock of progress and a public report will review progress on the recommendations and lay out further steps to be taken.

The dialogue corresponds to the EU’s political priorities under the Green Deal and the Commission’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to child labour. It also builds on Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana’s joint initiative of June 2019 on a minimum price for cocoa on the world market and the Living Income Differential that they put in place with representatives of the cocoa and chocolate industry to ensure decent revenue for local farmers.

The new initiative for sustainable cocoa is part of a broader set of the European Commission’s measures to address sustainability issues horizontally and within the sector. They include a policy dialogue with Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to make sure that increase of prices is linked to actions halting deforestation and eliminating child labour in cocoa supply chains.

Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are the world’s largest exporters of raw cocoa, generating some 60% of global exports (ITC 2020). Cocoa is a major contributor to export earnings, as well as the main source of livelihoods for up to six million farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. Indirectly, cocoa contributes to the livelihoods of further 50 million people (UNCTAD 2016). At the same time, cocoa production entails particular risks relating to child labour, low revenues for local farmers, deforestation and forest degradation.

The European Union is the world’s largest importer of cocoa, accounting for 60% of world imports (ITC 2020). Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are major suppliers of cocoa into the EU market, to which they have duty-free and quota-free access under their respective Economic Partnership Agreements.

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara and his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo signed the Abidjan Declaration back in 2018, thereby creating “an OPEC for cocoa”. Through this partnership, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana – which together produce 65% of the world’s cocoa – will harmonise their sales policies to have greater impact and increase their earnings.

Back in July 2019, Côte d’Ivoire’s Coffee and Cocoa Board (CCC) and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) successfully imposed a pricing mechanism to help producers earn a living wage. Their suspension of forward sales of cocoa beans had such a negative impact on global prices that, in less than a month, chocolate traders and makers agreed to the idea of a $400 a tonne premium on all cocoa sales contracts.

EU deplores Cote d’Ivoire violence

“As part of the current electoral process, the European Union (EU) reiterates its attachment to the principles of inclusiveness, freedom of expression, transparency, respect for the rule of law and any independent observation mechanisms. , necessary to ensure a ballot with credible results accepted by all”  reads statement by the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell on behalf of the European Union on the presidential election in Cote d’Ivoire on October 31, 2020.

“The EU deplores the violence and clashes in recent weeks, which have claimed the lives of several people, and calls on the authorities to investigate them in order to prosecute the perpetrators. It also calls for respect for public freedoms, including the right for every citizen to demonstrate peacefully, within the framework provided by law, without being worried, and to express political opinions without being arrested or imprisoned.

“The EU takes note of the decision of the Constitutional Council on September 14 on the candidates selected for the presidential election. While it is not for it to pronounce on this matter, the EU recalls that it is the primary responsibility of the competent Ivorian authorities and institutions to guarantee an impartial, transparent, inclusive and fair electoral process, winning the support of the citizens. It notes the various procedures opened before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) relating to the electoral process and recalls its attachment to respect for international justice.

“The EU calls on the entire political class and civil society, as well as the administrations concerned, to dialogue and engage in a responsible, constructive and peaceful manner and to ensure that this electoral process can sustainably consolidate reconciliation between all Ivorians. It also encourages the authorities to take the initiative to help calm the political climate.

“As a long-standing partner of the Ivory Coast, the EU will continue to accompany and support the country in this process, with all the actors concerned”.

Cote d’Ivoire President Ouattara aims at re-election

Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara,78, will seek re-election in October this year after his proposed successor, former Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died last month.

The announcement made by Ouattare on Twitter microblog says: «I am the candidate for the presidential elections on 31 October 2020».

«This decision, carefully considered, is a duty that I accept in the best interests of the Nation; in order to continue to put my experience tirelessly at the service of our country» he added.

Alassan Ouattara won a second five-year term in 2015 with almost 84% of the vote. With 2,118,229 votes, or 83.66% of votes cast, and a 54.63% turnout.

Côte d’Ivoire joined counterterrorist operation

Soldiers from Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso conducted their first joint operation against jihadists insurgency near their shared border, neutralising eight suspected militants and arresting 14 others, Ivorian army said on May 24.

Burkina Faso and its neighbours Mali and Niger in West Africa’s vast Sahel zone are conducting operaions against Islamist insurgencies with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State, claiming to re-consturct the historic Caliphe of Sokoto.

Those terrorist groups have been strengthening and expanding their range of operations, leaving coastal countries like Cote d’Ivoire at risk of violence and unrest breaking into their territories.

The joint operation was launched on May 11 with about 1,000 Ivorian soldiers participating from their side of the 580-kilometre border with Burkina Faso, Ivorian army announced in a statement.

The suspected militants were killed in Burkina Faso, the army confirmed, adding that the operation is ongoing.

Jihadist attacks in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have escalated dramatically over the past year despite significant military support from France, which is engaged in partnerships with former colonies.

While Cote d’Ivoire has mostly been spared the violence affecting its neighbours, it was the victim in 2016 of an attack claimed by al Qaeda in which gunmen killed 19 people at a beach resort.
Image: illustration

COVID19: Cote d’Ivoire PM evacuated to France

Cote d’Ivoire Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly (61), the candidate in October’s presidential election from the ruling party, was evacuated on May 2 to France for medical examinations, the presidency informed.

The brief statement from the presidency on May 3 provided no further details about Gon Coulibaly’s condition. Gon Coulibaly self-isolated in late March because of possible exposure to the coronavirus, but the COVID-19 test was negative.

Defence Minister Hamed Bakayoko, who recovered from the coronavirus last month, will serve as interim Prime minister in Gon Coulibaly’s absence, the statement said.

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara designated Gon Coulibaly in March as the ruling RHDP party’s candidate for the presidential election after excluding a third term himself.

Ivory Coast has recorded more than 1,300 cases of the coronavirus, one of the highest totals in West Africa, and 15 deaths.

Soro extradition unlikely

Cote d’Ivoire Guillaume Soro (47), the presidential candidate, has been convicted in absentia of embezzlement and money laundering. Soro was once an ally of incumbent President Alessane Ouattara. He commanded a rebel force which backed Quattara in his struggle against President Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to accept the results of 2010 elections.

Soro, who has been a rebel leader and Prime minister, was accused of buying a house with public money, the allegations he vehemently denied, while his lawyers boycotted the trial, announcing it politically motivated, paving the way to exclude him from October’s election.

Soro’s property in Abidjan, was confiscated and he was also barred from civic duties for five years. Soro was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment, 4.5 billion FCFA (6.8 million euros) in fines, the confiscation” of his house, deprivation of his civil rights, and ordered to pay 2 billion FCFA (3 million euros) in damages to the state of Côte d’Ivoire.

The verdict was announced after a trial that lasted only a few hours. Soro was not present as he lives in exile in France.

President Alassane Ouattara “who today wears dictator’s clothes with great ease, submits justice to his boot and orders political killings against his rivals in order to exclude them from the electoral competition, embodies the worst version of the African leader,” he said.

“He quickly forgot that the justice system he is manipulating today is the same one that decreed him ineligible a few years ago (…) The rest we all know: he became president,” he added.

However the extradition of Soro is not obvious, because of poor Human rights record of Cote d’Ivoire, which i major factor taken into consideration by the French justice while considering extradition requests.

Belgium hosts Laurent Gbagbo

Belgium has agreed to host Cote d’Ivoire ex-President Laurent Gbagbo following his acquittal by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Belgium had agreed to welcome the former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, who is released on conditions, as announced by the International Criminal Court, after his acquittal in January for crimes against humanity.

Belgium has accepted the request of the International Criminal Court to host former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo on its territory, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Belga news agency. The International Criminal Court (ICC) released conditionally Mr. Gbagbo, acquitted more than two weeks ago of crimes against humanity committed in 2010 and 2011 during post-election violence in Côte d’Ivoire.

Belgium has received a request for cooperation from the Court because of family ties of Laurent Gbagbo in our country,” said Karl Lagatie, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Belgium supports the international criminal courts and we have responded positively to this request.”

Laurent Gbagbo have to be available to the Court for the duration of the appeal, the ministry added.

According to the Belgian press, one of Gbagbo‘s wives – Nady Bamba (47), lives there with their son.  Alghouth Christain Mr.Gbagbo has two wives: the First Lady (2000-2010) of Cote d’Ivore Simone Gbagbo (69) and Nady Bamba.
Simone Gbagbo was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2015 in Côte d’Ivoire for her responsibility. in the tragic events of 2010-2011, described as an attack on state security. In 2018, she received an amnesty decreed by the incumbent President Alassane Ouattara.

It was a request from the court to host Mr Gbagbo simply because he has family in Belgium: his second wife, a child in Brussels,” Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told RTBF, Begium’s public television channel, on February 2.

We have concluded that it is alright for him to stay in Belgium while on conditional release,” he said, adding that the “conditions” of his stay would be discussed with the ICC including “limits” on Gbagbo‘s movements.

 

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