Côte d'Ivoire

Declaration on the Implementation of The Pretoria Agreement on the Peace Process in the Côte d'Ivoire

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At the invitation of the Mediator, the signatories to the Pretoria Agreement met in Pretoria on 28 and 29 June 2005 to review the implementation of the agreement they reached on 6 April 2005.

The meeting was attended by His Excellency Laurent Gbagbo, President of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire, Prime Minister Seydou Diarra, representing the Government of National Reconciliation, former President Henri Konan Bedie, representing the Parti Democratique de Cote d'Ivoire (PDCI), former Prime Minister Alassane Dramane Ouattara representing the Rassemblement des Republicains (RDR) and Minister of State Guillaume Soro, Secretary General of the New Forces. The meeting was chaired by President Thabo Mbeki.

The meeting was held against the background of the recent massacre in Duekoue. In line with their earlier recognition of the sacred right of the Ivorian people to life, peace and development, the leaders condemned this action and stressed that it constitutes a threat to the advancement of the peace process. They accordingly pledged to work together to prevent a repetition of similar incidents.

The Ivorian leaders stressed that the holding of elections is central to the process of returning Cote d'Ivoire to normality. Accordingly, they reaffirmed the importance of moving speedily with the removal of all obstacles to the holding of Presidential elections in October 2005.

The leaders fully endorsed the April 6 Pretoria Agreement and noted that some progress had been made with its implementation. However, there remain some elements that have not been implemented. After a detailed review of the implementation of the agreement, they agreed as follows:

1. Joint declaration of the end of the war

The statement declaring the end of the war was made on 6 April 2005 in Pretoria. The parties agreed that they would consider further measures to reinforce this message of the end of hostilities.

2. Disarmament and Dismantling of the Militia

The Prime Minister reported on preparatory work done by the government for the disarmament and dismantling of the militia. The meeting noted that the actual disarmament and dismantling of the militia has not yet commenced. In this regard, it was agreed that this process will commence immediately and end by 20 August 2005.

It was also agreed that the Troika, comprising the Prime Minister, the Mediator and ONUCI, will evaluate what additional support may be necessary to expedite this process, with a view also to shorten the time within which this task would be finalised.

3. Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR)

Recognising that it would be impossible to hold elections while this matter is outstanding, the meeting expressed great concern with the lack of progress with regard to the DDR process.

The meeting took note of the common will of the Chiefs of Staff of both forces to be part of the DDR process. They resumed military dialogue and withdrew heavy weapons from the frontline.

They finalised a PNDDR/RC for the country and a timetable for the re-organisation and restoration of the defence and security forces.

The meeting strongly encouraged them to accomplish further progress in the DDR process. To this end, the Chiefs of Staff of FANCI and the FAFN will meet with the CNDDR on Thursday, July 7, 2005, to finalise the adoption of a DDR timetable.

The meeting was informed that the government has started to rehabilitate DDR sites in the North of the country. The Chairperson of the CNDDR assured the meeting that three sites in the North would be ready for the intake of combatants within three weeks. Sites in the South are ready.

Accordingly, it was agreed that the intake of combatants should start as from the end of July 2005, recognising the linkage with the decision to amend the Nationality and Identity laws as set out in item 8 below. In the meantime all other agreed programmes on DDR, such as sensitisation and rehabilitation of other sites would continue.

4. Ensuring security in the area under Forces Nouvelles control

The meeting took note of the efforts to train 600 members of FN and urged all the roleplayers to speed up the process. Persons who are going to train members of the FN who will be responsible for normal policing after the regrouping of FN combatants have finalised their training. The process of identifying 600 individuals to be trained is proceeding. The need for additional police support will be considered by ONUCI and the Mediation.

5. Security of the members of Government from the FN and other Presidential candidates

The Mediation has completed the training of security personnel who would be responsible for securing FN Ministers. These trained close protectors have returned to Cote d'Ivoire for deployment. The necessary security arrangements are now in place to allow the FN Ministers to fully resume their government duties. The Secretary General of the FN indicated that they are all ready to resume their government activities.

The global security plan for all FN Ministers will be finalised and adopted by the Chiefs of Staff at their meeting on 7 July 2005.

ONUCI and the Mediation will give priority to developing a protection plan and necessary security arrangements for Minister of State Guillaume Soro and Presidential candidates Henri Konan Bedie and Alassane Ouattara. They will also undertake a review of the necessary security plans for the elections, in particular access to voting places.

6. Independent Electoral Commission and Organisation of elections

The legislation on the IEC should be adopted by July 15, 2005 and the IEC should become operational immediately thereafter and not later than July 31, 2005. The leaders reaffirmed that the IEC is the sole institution in charge of the electoral process and the National Institute of Statistics should report to the IEC on matters relating to the elections. The leaders recognised the positive role played by the United Nations Security Council in support of the electoral process and expressed appreciation for the urgent manner in which the UN has acted on their request.

The UN Secretary General is urged to speedily appoint the high level representative who will oversee the electoral process.

7. Ivorian Radio and Television (RTI)

The agreement reached in Pretoria that President Gbagbo issue a decree to restore the status and management of the RTI has been implemented. The government is working on extending the infrastructure of the RTI to the rest of the country.

The leaders implored the management of the RTI to ensure that all parties are given fair access to state media and to improve the quality of the programmes.

8. Re-tabling of laws

The meeting expressed concern that the laws have not been adopted as agreed to in the Pretoria agreement.

The parties made an appeal to the representatives of the people of Cote d'Ivoire in the National Assembly to contribute to the peace process by assisting in the implementation of this agreement.

In that regard, the National Assembly should adopt, by 15 July 2005, all the amendments to the seven laws proposed by the Mediation, failing which the Mediator is authorised to make a determination about exceptional measures, inter alia, ordinances and decrees, to be taken by the President to ensure the passage of the amendments.

The said laws relate to the IEC, Financing of Political Parties, Nationality, Identification, the Human Rights Commission, the Print Media and the Audio-Visual Communication.

The law on the financing of political parties would be amended to provide that parties outside the National Assembly would be funded provided that they have representatives at the local government level. Such funding will commence on 15 July 2005.

9. Eligibility to the Presidency of the Republic

The parties recalled that the issue of the amendment of Article 35 of the Constitution had been a major obstacle in the advancement of the peace process. They acknowledged that the announcement by the President of the Republic on 26 April 2005 marked a significant milestone in the creation of a favourable environment towards the holding of elections. The parties committed themselves to build on this achievement.

Should it prove necessary to use the provisions of Article 48 of the Constitution again, this matter would be discussed with the Mediation and other signatories.

10. Role of the mediation.

The parties, recognising the important contribution made by the mediation and driven by their genuine interest to remove all obstacles to the holding of elections on 30 October 2005, call upon the mediation to play a greater role in the implementation of the agreement.

11. Sanctions

The parties, as a further demonstration of their commitment to the implementation of the Pretoria Agreements, agree that the AU should impose appropriate sanctions against those parties who fail to implement the Pretoria agreements and block the peace process.

Similarly the parties agree that, on such failure, the Mediation would proceed to recommend imposition of the UN sanctions as set out in Resolution 1572 of Nov 15, 2004 and other relevant Security Council resolutions.

HE Laurent GBAGBO
President of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire

Mr Henri Konan BEDIE for the PDCI

Mr Alassane Dramane OUATTARA for the RDR Mr Guillaume SORO for the New Forces

HE Seydou Elimane DIARRA
Prime Minister of the Government of National Reconciliation

HE Thabo MBEKI
President of the Republic of South Africa Mediator of the African Union

Signed in Pretoria on this 29th day of June 2005
Issued by: The Presidency 29 June 2005