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Accra III Peace Process: Prospects & Challenges [July 27, 2004]

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All eyes and ears are focused on the Ghanaian capital, Accra, that is fast becoming the veritable gateway to West African stability. The expectations are high. The matter at hand is the protracted Ivorian crisis that some observers and even actors in the conflict have termed ‘the summit of the last chance’. To the contrary, WARN believes that the Accra Summit dubbed “Accra III” presents a golden opportunity to right many wrongs, both for protagonists and mediators. Accra III should therefore be seen as an opportunity to uphold reality as against rhetoric; to come to the realization that it has not only been an Ivoiro-Ivorian crisis only, but also a regional conflict; that the Ivorian war is as politically induced as it is economically (with varying interests).

Accra III is also a unique forum to honestly accept the fact that though an African problem (in the words of Michel de Bonnecorse, Adviser on African Affairs to French President, Jacques Chirac), French political and economic interests have made France a critical stakeholder; the UN authority is once more being challenged and failure to act decisively would make the world body lose credibility.

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Cote d'Ivoire -- Breaking the Ivorian Cycle of Violence: Spoilers and Connectors [Nov 11, 2004]

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The Ivorian crisis has taken a new twist as violence has re-escalated following the killing of nine French peacekeepers in the rebel held town of Bouake in northern Cote d’Ivoire in the wake air bombardments of rebel strongholds by Ivorian air force. The French reaction was swift and energetic. President Chirac ordered the destruction of the entire Ivorian air power. Abidjan, once again became the theatre of violent demonstrations, pillage and looting as anti-French sentiments have surged forcing the international community to start evacuating its nationals and staff based in Cote d’Ivoire. Latest reports say more than 60 people have been killed by French forces and the Ivorian government has accused the French of excessive and non-commensurate use of force and deliberate attempt to humiliate the Gbagbo Government. The French claim they acted in self defence and deny killing any Ivorian. The confidence gap between the supposed peacekeeper (France) and Ivorians especially in the Government held zone has dwindled drastically. The French have forcefully and strategically taken over the international airports in Yamoussoukro and Abidjan.

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Cote d’Ivoire -- October 30 Presidential Elections: Intricacies And Threats [July 8, 2005]

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Though the Ivorian peace process has come a long way, it remains delicate and fragile. The flagged issues of ivorité, marginalization, legitimacy, and xenophobia have gradually been overshadowed by two key contentions, namely: disarmament of irregular forces and elections. Meeting in Pretoria1, South Africa, April 3-6, 2005, the protagonists of the Ivorian crisis resolved, albeit under pressure, to sink their differences and move the peace process forward. President Thabo Mbeki has braced all the odds2 and remained a resolute and firm mediator thanks to the support he enjoys from the ECOWAS, AU, EU and UN, coupled with the respect and acceptability he enjoys within the protagonist circle. What has been dubbed Pretoria I outlined practical steps towards the implementation of the Marcoussis (framework) settlement and the subsequent Accra Agreements. The impasse that ensued after Pretoria I compelled President Mbeki to convene another fence mending meeting between the principal actors of the Ivorian crisis (Pretoria II) on June 28-29, 2005.

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Togo -- Transitional Crisis in Togo: Constitutional Violation & Unequivocal Stance of International Community [February 11, 2005]

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In one of our situational analyses in June 2003, we predicted that “…Despite his earlier concession to opposition pressure to step down at the end of the last mandate and contrary to constitutional provisions, President Eyadema rescinded his promise, changed the constitution to his liking, and rigged the elections for another mandate… The only lesson Eyadema seems to have taken from his somewhat brief mediating role in the Cote d’Ivoire conflict was perhaps the desire to die in power in much the same way as Houphouet-Boigny.” This prediction has unveiled.

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Cote d'Ivoire -- Post October 30, 2005: “Making the Horse Drink” [October 31, 2005]

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In its official communiqué on October 6, 2005, the 40th Meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the Africa Union (AU) noted that significant progress has been achieved in the peace process in Cote d'Ivoire through the implementation of the Lina-Marcoussis, Accra III and Pretoria Agreements (Pretoria I & II) and maintained that additional measures are required "to expedite the implementation of the outstanding issues, in particular the dismantling and disarmament of the militias, the DDR and the creation of conditions for holding free, fair and transparent elections, based on the road-map to elections elaborated by the AU Mediator".

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