- EU SUPPORT TO CÔTE D'IVOIRE DEMOCRACY AND CRISIS RESOLUTION
Electoral process: (until November 2010)
• Active participation of the EU to the peace process negotiation that ended up in the organisation of the October (1st round) and November (2nd round) presidential elections;
• Technical and financial support (around 40 millions Euros) to peace process components, in particular the electoral process;
• Throughout the crisis that started in 2002 and split the country in two, with the Forces Nouvelles taking control of the North, the EU was the only donor that continued its development assistance providing basic social services in the whole territory and supporting reforms in different areas such as Justice.
Post-electoral crisis phase (December 2010 – April 2011)
• Through the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of 13 December 2010 and 31 Jan. 2011, the EU: a) recognized Alassane Ouattara as legally elected President; b) adopted a visa ban and an asset freeze on Gbagbo and 123 collaborators and an asset freeze on 13 economic entities financially supporting the Gbagbo regime; c) recognised Ouattara appointed ambassadors and chargés d'affaires; d) agreed on diplomatic action aiming at supporting the respective initiatives by ECOWAS, the African Union and UN/UNOCI, and called on them for stronger action;
• ECHO assisted in humanitarian relief (30 million made available during the crisis).
Post-crisis measures to support stabilization (April 2011 – present)
• The EU has lifted sanctions on the ports of Abidjan and S. Pedro, SRI, and the cocoa/coffee management committee; the five national banks and PETROCI;
• Through its FAC conclusions of 12 April, the EU commits to cooperate fully with the elected government and support the restoration of law and order as well as social and political reconciliation. In addition to swiftly resuming EDF cooperation projects, the EU prepares an early recovery package to bridge the early recovery gap;
• Humanitarian assistance continues; 30+30 million Euros have been mobilized thus far.
- RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
• Development Commissioner Piebalgs will travel to Abidjan on Friday 6 May to meet with President Ouattara and discuss the restoration of development cooperation; this will be the first post-crisis visit from an EU political authority.
• A high level inter-service mission led by the European External Action Service took place at the end of April to assess Côte d'Ivoire's needs and discuss with the Ivorian authorities the EU support to contribute to the stability and recovery of the country. The authorities have asked for the European Development Fund 2011 programming to be maintained as originally conceived and requested extra support in urgent early recovery areas such as Reform of the security sector and demobilisation of militias;
• The President's swearing in ceremony will be held on 21 May in Yamoussoukro; a government of national unity is to be established before the end of May.
- MAIN IMMEDIATE PRIORITIES FOR THE EU
• Re-launch development cooperation projects on stand-by since 2010;
• Prepare, in close consultations with the Government and key partners, early recovery initiatives (incl. potential support to national reconciliation; reform of the security sector and demobilisation of militias; restoration of the rule of law) to be financed through rapid mobilization of funding instruments; 180 million Euros have been pledged so far;
• Collaborate with ECOWAS on possible involvement in implementation of stabilization and early recovery activities;
• Continue to mobilise and disburse humanitarian aid to cover basic needs (water/sanitation, food, health); • ECHO ground presence to support coordination of humanitarian actors and contribute to a smooth coordination between humanitarian aid and early development assistance in the context of LRRD (Linking relief, rehabilitation and development).
• Remaining sanctions on economic entities and on individuals to be progressively lifted in close consultation with the government to support the country's economic recovery and national reconciliation process.
Diplomatic and political action
• Encourage UNOCI to continue efforts to protect civilians and stimulate international attention to support the government in providing security in the West and in Abidjan;
• Advocate for a credible and sustainable political process in the immediate post-transition phase, with support from the UN, ECOWAS and the AU;
• Advocate for strong commitment to end impunity and provide political support to action taken by the ICC and the independent commission of enquiry.
- MAIN CHALLENGES
• In the post-conflict phase, the EU must rapidly deliver its support to Ouattara's government particularly in priority areas (security and basic services; human rights); the window of opportunity for the Ouattara government is narrow and the population expects rapid peace dividends;
• Insecurity will hamper the rapid resumption of development cooperation and the full redeployment of evacuated EU Delegation staff and delivery of humanitarian assistance. The allegations of foreign interference and role in the fall of Gbagbo's regime may spur antiforeigner sentiment among some pro-Gbagbo supporters.
• Pro-Ouattara forces have been accused of instigating massacres in the West; the EU must maintain a firm line against impunity.