Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire: Land tensions are a major obstacle to durable solutions

Originally published


Several hundred thousand people were displaced within Côte d'Ivoire by the internal armed conflict that broke out in 2002, and by localised communal conflicts. Estimates of their numbers only covered people displaced in the south of the country, and not in areas of the centre and north which were under the control of Forces Nouvelles (FN) rebels.

While many have returned, there are no comprehensive mechanisms to monitor the scope and the sustainability of these movements. The international community has recognised that obstacles to durable solutions to internal displacement include continuing insecurity, ram-pant criminality, human rights abuses and, especially in the west, longstanding land dis-putes. Displacement patterns have further complicated claims to land and formal conflict resolution mechanisms, such as the 1998 rural land law, should be adapted to integrate the specific needs of internally displaced people (IDPs).

Most of the information available on durable solutions refers to the west, where tensions between communities are still high and where some attempted returns have not been sus-tainable. No information is, however, available on the hundreds of thousands of people who sought shelter in Abidjan.

Since the Ouagadougou Accord marked the end of the conflict in 2007, the most notable progress has occurred in the identification of the population and registration of voters. However, presidential elections have been put back once more to some time in 2010, and security issues and the reunification of the country have been lagging behind. Government and rebel administrations coexist in the north, and it is still not clear whether the benefits of implementing the Accord outweigh the interests of both parties to the conflict in maintaining the status quo.