Ivory Coast: Laurent Gbagbo captured and caged as Ouattara takes over as leader

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Ivorian Flag
Monday saw an end to Cote d’Ivoire’s post-election crisis that had lasted for more than four months.

Laurent Gbagbo arrested, humiliated and disgraced by Ouattara French guided soldiers
The arrest of Laurent Gbagbo at his residence by the Cote d’Ivoire Republican Forces (FRCI) marked the conclusion of the dispute over the country’s leadership.

Gbagbo had been declared the winner of the Nov. 28 presidential polls by the Constitutional Council, while his rival Alassane Ouattara was declared as the victor by the electoral commission and recognized by the international community.

Ouattara: A leader consolidation power
Cote d’Ivoire’s electoral process began on Sept. 9, with the adoption of the final electoral list after a voter registration exercise that was marred by querrels between the country’s political actors.

After the postponement of the elections for six times, the first round of Cote d’Ivoire’s presidential elections were organized on Oct. 31.

Following the elections that were generally very peaceful, Gbagbo and Ouattara obtained their ticket for the second round with 38 percent and 32 percent of the tally respectively.

Contrary to the first round, the second was held on Nov. 28 within a tensed climate that was marked by violent incidences in the economic capital Abidjan and deadly clashes in the western parts of the country.

On Dec. 2, the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) finally declared the results after several delays orchestrated by Gbagbo’s camp, which accused the rival camp of electoral malpractices.

Ouattara was eventually declared by CEI as the winner of the elections with 54.1 percent of the vote against 45.9 percent for Gbagbo.

“The second round of the presidential polls were generally democratic and acceptable,” said the special representative of the UN secretary general in Cote d’Ivoire, Young Jin-choi, certifying the results in conformity to the mission’s mandate.

But they were rejected by the Constitutional Council which is presided over by Paul Yao N’Dre, a close confidant of Gbagbo.

He therefore decided to cancel the results that were termed as “fraudulent” in the northern and central regions which majorly supported Ouattara.

N’Dre announced another final tally which gave Gbagbo the “victory” of 51.45 percent against Ouattara’s 48.55 percent.

POLITICAL IMBROGLIO

Cote d’Ivoire’s presidential elections which had been termed as the only way of ensuring peace is restored in the country after eight years of a political conflict, ended up being a political imbroglio.

The country ended up with two presidents after each of the two candidates was declared as the winner and they all organized separate swearing in ceremonies.

The country also ended up having two governments, Gbagbo’s government led by prime minister Ake N’Gbo and Ouattara’s government led by Guillaume Soro, the ex-rebel chief whose government was based at the Hotel du Golf.

Cote d’Ivoire, a country with enormous economic potential and the West African shining star was dragged into deep crisis.

In the stand-off that ensued after the disputed presidential polls, no side wanted to give up power.

“I am acting according to the constitution. I am the president who was declared by the constitutional council, the only institution with the mandate to announce the final electoral results. I am therefore Cote d’Ivoire’s legitimate president,” Gbagbo insisted whenever he met various groups in the country.

“I am the president-elect who was declared as the winner by the Independent Electoral Commission and recognized by the UN. The accord which we all signed provided that the results will have to be certified by the special representative of the UN secretary general and therefore no one will steal my victory. I am the president of Cote d’Ivoire,” affirmed on his part by Alassane Ouattara.

UNSUCCESSFUL MEDIATION EFFORTS

Due to the disagreements over the poll results, there were numerous mediation efforts to try and resolve the crisis which was escalating.

First there were internal mediation efforts led by religious leaders and traditional chiefs.

Religious leaders organized to meet the two protagonists in the crisis. They also met with the president of the constitutional council whose announcement of the resaults aggravated the situation.

The Cote d’Ivoire traditional rulers ended their mission without getting the expected results.

The international mediation teams then got involved with the first mission being from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU).

The AU later took the binding decision that required Gbagbo to hand-over power to Ouattara who won the presidential polls.

However, Gbagbo did not respect the recommendations of African regional organizations, declarations of the European Union (EU) and the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

After exhausting all channels of dialogue, other means had to be devised to remove him from power.

“We have given peace a chance. We have given diplomacy four months,” Ouattara’s prime minister Guillaume Soro declared when he was giving orders to the FRCI to launch an offensive across the entire country.

OUATTARA, MASTER OF THE GAME

Within no time, the FRCI managed to take control of almost all of the country’s towns.

Believing that their leader had exhausted all channels of dialogue, the FRCI launched on offensive on Abidjan on March 31. They especially targeted Gbagbo’s residence so that they can dislodge him from power and install Ouattara.

However, the outgoing president whose soldiers had requested for a ceasefire to allow for negotiations, decided to choose the path of resistance while being defended by his special forces who at one time managed to push away pro-Ouattara forces from his residence.

The final assault on the presidential residence which took place on April 11 was very decisive and it got the aerial support of UN and French Licorne forces. The aerial attacks enabled the FRCI to penetrate to Gbagbo’s residence and capture Gbagbo, his wife and a number of his close confidants.

Ouattara, the master of the game, went ahead to deliver a televized address to the nation on Monday, calling on his fellow citizens to be calm and exercise restraint.

He asked them to forgive each other and embark on national reconciliation which is essential for the country’s development.

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. It is evident that the act of undermining due process of rule of national and international law, on resolving the electoral dispute, in the Republic of Ivory Coast; is paving chaotic precedence in Africa and elsewhere. Case study Andre Mba Obame, opposition party leader in the Republic of Gabon; and Adrien Houngbedji, opposition party leader in the Republic of Benin.

    http://www.france24.com/en/20110227-gabon-opposition-leader-leaves-un-office-refuge

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12294344

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/22/benin-adrien-houngbedji-disputes-election

  2. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, says: “At the same time we would say that he must be treated with respect and any judicial process that follows should be fair and properly organised.”; Article 14 (1 and 2), of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, states: “All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law. “; “Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.” http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ccpr.htm

    http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=582330882

  3. the United Nations Security Council, and others’ stance on the disputed Presidential Election in Ivory Coast, 2010, and subsequent calls for President Laurent Gbagbo, to “quit or be removed from office as president of Ivory Coast, if he fails to quit honorably”; on grounds of the Ivory Coast’s electoral commission result subject to review under the Constitutional Power bestowed under Article 94, of the Constitution of Ivory Coast, to the Constitutional Council of Ivory Coast, which states as follows: “The Constitutional Council controls the regularity of the operations of the referendum and proclaims the results. The Council decides [statuer] on: — the eligibility of the candidates to the presidential and legislative elections; — the disputes concerning the election of the President of the Republic and of the Deputies. The Constitutional Council proclaims the definitive results of the presidential elections.”; prejudices Article 88, Article 90, Article 91, Article 92, and Article 94, of the Constitution of Ivory Coast; Article 28 paragraph c, d, e, g, h, article 29 paragraph 1a, article 30 paragraph a, f, and article 31 paragraph a, b, d, f, of the “PROTOCOL ON THE STATUTE OF THE AFRICAN COURT OF JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS”; Article 2 (3); Article 36 (3); Article 92, Article 93, Article 94, Article 95, and Article 96, of the Charter of the United Nations; and Article 65, 66, 67, 68, of the Statute of the International Court of Justice hereinafter referred to as “ADVISORY OPINIONS” of the International Court of Justice.

    http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/minuci/

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter1.shtml

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter6.shtml

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter14.shtml

    “Côte d’Ivoire Constitution” “TITLE VII OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL”:

    http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/Cote%20D'Ivoire%20Constitution.pdf

    http://www.constitutionnet.org/en/vl/item/c-te-d-ivoire-constitution

    PROTOCOL ON THE STATUTE OF THE AFRICAN COURT OF
    JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS:

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache%3A5tY6htdt0WIJ%3Awww.africa-union.org%2Froot%2Fau%2FDocuments%2FTreaties%2FText%2FProtocol%2520to%2520the%2520African%2520Court%2520of%2520Justice%2520-%2520Maputo.pdf+african+court+of+justice&hl=en&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESieuAsXwoEalgz2v9Cs-idUMZoSkGvuWT-9LmesXWItvQEW_XUxrG4pwOriQmnM7vg5OuBCkofzAXTs4K9JuABtyk87Rb78k3F3d4urvBEK8F8fpBiySrK4u-sAooJVC5b_frIV&sig=AHIEtbQnjV5EOwUAnCARB0Q0RoJJhx61Kw&pli=1

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBUQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.africa-union.org%2Froot%2Fau%2Fdocuments%2Ftreaties%2Ftext%2FProtocol%2520on%2520the%2520Merged%2520Court%2520-%2520EN.pdf&rct=j&q=PROTOCOL+ON+THE+STATUTE+OF+THE+AFRICAN+COURT+OF+JUSTICE+AND+HUMAN+RIGHTS&ei=8Y9BTeuRC8jJswaI4K2tDg&usg=AFQjCNELpio5CL7Q1DSgUYbvaXopECSV1Q&cad=rja

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CC0QFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.unhcr.org%2Frefworld%2Ftype%2CMULTILATERALTREATY%2C%2C%2C4937f0ac2%2C0.html&rct=j&q=PROTOCOL+ON+THE+STATUTE+OF+THE+AFRICAN+COURT+OF+JUSTICE+AND+HUMAN+RIGHTS&ei=PZBBTYezCdOCswbJhoi5Dg&usg=AFQjCNFLOTK8huqNtIC-wDvjuN0GNDioew&cad=rja

    http://www.african-court.org/en/court/mandate/general-information/

    http://www.au.int/en/organs/cj

  4. In accordance with article 28 paragraph c, d, e, g, h, article 29 paragraph 1a, article 30 paragraph a, f, and article 31 paragraph a, b, d, f, of the “PROTOCOL ON THE STATUTE OF THE AFRICAN COURT OF JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS”; the dispute on violation of article 25 paragraph b, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in the Republic of Ivory Coast. Can be decided, by “THE AFRICAN COURT OF JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS”. Complement to chapter VI article 33 paragraph 1, and article 36 paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations.

    Furthermore, and in accordance with due process of law, Mr Laurent Gbagbo, the”President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire”, and the UNOCI (United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire), “should as a general rule be referred by the parties to the International Court of Justice in accordance with the provisions of the Statute of the Court.” seek as stipulated in article 65, 66, 67, 68, of the Statute of the International Court of Justice hereinafter referred to as “ADVISORY OPINIONS” of the International Court of Justice, with complement to article 36 paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, and article Article 28, 48, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; on the matter of violation of article 21 paragraph 3, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article Article 25, paragraph b, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

    Re: “Inaugural Meeting of the High?Level Panel of the African Union On Cote d’ivoire”:

    http://www.au.int/en/content/inaugural-meeting-high%E2%80%90level-panel-african-union-cote-divoire

    This is to recommend, in consolidation with the program …of “THE HIGH?LEVEL PANEL OF THE AFRICAN UNION ON COTE D’IVOIRE”, and the United Nations Security Council; an amendment on the constitution of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, to reflect the principles, and objectives of rotational presidential, and other political candidates, to contest in a free, and fair election; under the principles, and objectives entrenched in article 25, 26, 27, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; as practised in multi ethno-religious, and political society, and entrenched in section 223 subsection b, section 224, sections 13, section 14 subsection 3, and section 15 subsection 4, of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended 2010. As part of effort to constitutinalise the “national reconciliation,” and “reunification of the country,”; and for the sustainance of democratic principles, in accordance with rule of law.

    Re: ¨Ouattara rejects vice-president job¨:

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/01/201111113257652603.html

    Re: The African Union ” The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 259th Meeting held on 28 January 2011…, at the Level of the Heads of State and Government, Adopted the Following Decision on the Situation in Côte d’Ivoire.” “COMMUNIQUE OF THE 259th MEETING OF THE PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL”:

    http://www.au.int/en/content/peace-and-security-council-african-union-au-its-259th-meeting-held-28-january-2011-level-hea

    Should the ¨The African Union, High?Level Panel for the resolution of the crisis, in Côte d’Ivoire¨ persuade Alassane Ouattara, the ¨defeated¨ candidate; as declared by the Constitutional Court of Côte d’Ivoire; to take this offer, or wait for negotiation to take place after the verdict of “THE AFRICAN COURT OF JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS”, and the ¨INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE¨, through due process of rule of law, as stipulated under chapter VI article 33 paragraph 1, and article 36 paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations?

    ¨Legally, Alassane Outtara has no legal claim to the Ivorian Presidency because by the constitution and laws of the Ivory Coast, he was never declared winner and certified as President elect by the Ivorian Constitutional Council, the only legal and constitutional institution that must conduct such rituals for a winner of the election to be inaugurated as President of the Republic of Ivory Coast.¨

    In accordance with article 28 paragraph c, d, e, g, h, article 29 paragraph 1a, article 30 paragraph a, f, and article 31 paragraph a, b, d, f, of the “PROTOCOL ON THE STATUTE OF THE AFRICAN COURT OF JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS”; the dispute on violation of article 25 paragraph b, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in the Republic of Ivory Coast. Can be decided, by “THE AFRICAN COURT OF JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS”. Complement to chapter VI article 33 paragraph 1, and article 36 paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations.

    Furthermore, and in accordance with due process of law, Mr Laurent Gbagbo, the”President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire”, and the UNOCI (United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire), “should as a general rule be referred by the parties to the International Court of Justice in accordance with the provisions of the Statute of the Court.” seek as stipulated in article 65, 66, 67, 68, of the Statute of the International Court of Justice hereinafter referred to as “ADVISORY OPINIONS” of the International Court of Justice, with complement to article 36 paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, and article Article 28, 48, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; on the matter of violation of article 21 paragraph 3, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article Article 25, paragraph b, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

    ¨Ban said that reopening the results of November”s president election “would be a grave injustice and set an unfortunate precedent.”Ban Ki-moon.

    “I want this monitoring committee – which is composed of the African Union, ECOWAS, the EU, the US, Russia, China, from all over; the Arab League – I want this committee to come here and review all the electoral documents and seek the truth,” Laurent Gbabgo.

    Examine and declare whom, is committed to dispute resolution in accordance with principles of rule of law, transparency, accountability, and integrity?

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