Côte d'Ivoire

Final communiqué of the meeting of the ECOWAS high-level contact group on the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire (S/2003/75)

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UN Document
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Posted
Originally published
S/2003/75
Letter dated 21 January 2003 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Togo to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council

On instructions from my Government, I have the honour to transmit herewith a letter dated 21 January 2003 from the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Togo enclosing the final communiqué adopted at the end of the meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) high-level contact group on the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, held at Lomé on 20 January 2003 (see annex).

I should be grateful if you could have the text of this letter and its annex circulated as a Security Council document.

(Signed) Kodjo Menan
Chargé d'affaires a.i.

Annex to the letter dated 21 January 2003 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Togo to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council

I have the honour to transmit herewith the text of the final communiqué of the meeting of the Economic Community of West African States high-level contact group on the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, held at Lomé on 20 January 2003 (see enclosure).

(Signed) Roland Y. Kpotsra

Enclosure. Final communiqué of the meeting of the Economic Community of West African States high-level contact group on the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire

1. On the initiative of His Excellency Gnassingbe EYADEMA, President of the Republic of Togo, Coordinator of the ECOWAS High Level Contact Group on Côte d'lvoire, a meeting of the member States was held in Lome on January 20, 2003.

2. The following attended the Summit:

  • H.E. John Agyekum KUFUOR, President of the Republic of Ghana;
  • H.E. Kumba YALA, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau;
  • H.E. Mamadou TANDJA, President of the Republic of Niger;
  • H.E. Chief Olusegun OBASANJO, President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
  • Mr. Mohamed Mahmoud BEN LABAT, Ambassador of Mali to Togo, representing H.E. the President of the Republic of Mali.
3. H.E. Mathieu KEREKOU, President of the Republic of Benin, current Chairman of the Conseil de l'Entente, was invited to participate in the meeting.

4. The following personalities also participated in the meeting:

  • General Cheick Omar DIARRA, Deputy Executive Secretary in Charge of Political Affairs, Defence and Security.
  • H.E. Mr Felix DOWNES-THOMAS, Special Representative of UN Secretary General for Côte d'Ivoire.
5. During their discussions, the Heads of State exchanged views on the situation in Côte d'Ivoire and the activities undertaken by the Group within the framework of the mandate given to it in Abidjan on October 23, 2002.

6. Concerning on the Lome negotiations on the Ivorian crisis, the Coordinator of the High Level Contact Group drew the attention of his Colleagues to the terms of the Agreement on professional grievances signed in Lome on 1st November 2002 between the Government of Côte d'lvoire and the Mouvement Patriotique de Côte d'Ivoire (MPCl).

7. He further stressed that, regarding political grievances, he submitted to the two parties a draft agreement which in its fourth revised version, takes into account observations, remarks and suggestions of the protagonists, as well as the recommendations of the Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.

8. The Coordinator pointed out that this draft agreement as revised, is a well-balanced document which should satisfy the two parties.

9. He further recalled that on 12 December 2002, the political leaders of Côte d'Ivoire signed a Declaration in support of the efforts of the ECOWAS High Level Contact Group.

10. The President of the Republic of Togo, Coordinator of the High Level Contact Group, further informed his Colleagues of the signing in Lome, on 13 January 2003, of an Agreement on cessation of hostilities between the Government of the Republic of Côte d'lvoire, the Mouvement Populaire Ivoirien du Grand Ouest (MPIGO) and the Mouvement pour la Justice et la Paix (MJP).

11. He also informed them of the adhesion by the Government of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire to the Agreement on cessation of Hostilities signed in Bouake on October 17, 2002 between the representative of the current Chairman of ECOWAS and the Mouvement Patriotique de Côte d'Ivoire (MPCI), following the signing in Lome, on January 13, 2003 of the said Agreement by the Head of the Government delegation H.E. Mr. Laurent DONA FOLOGO.

12. Expressing their satisfaction with the work accomplished so far, the Heads of State of the Contact Group extended their warm congratulations to His Excellency Gnassingbe EYADEMA, President of the Republic of Togo, Coordinator of the ECOWAS High Level Contact Group for his sustained efforts to bring back peace to Côte d'Ivoire.

13. They expressed their satisfaction with the constant willingness and sacrifice, as well as the special wisdom displayed in carrying out this important mission.

14. The Heads of State of the Contact Group also expressed their appreciation for the readiness of the protagonists to put an end to the armed conflict, as well as their commitment to seek, through negotiation and dialogue, a peaceful and lasting solution to the crisis.

15. In this context, they impressed upon each of the parties the need to respect the terms of the Agreements in order to achieve a final and complete cessation of hostilities and a quick and effective return of peace to Côte d'lvoire.

16. Drawing lessons from this crisis, the Heads of State of the Contact Group firmly reiterated their rejection of any unconstitutional means of taking power.

17. Reaffirming their attachment to the principle of inviolability of borders and to the indivisibility of Côte d'lvoire, they solemnly urged the Ivorians, with whom lies the prime responsibility to find a solution to the crisis affecting their country. to work hard to strengthen national unity, create a new era of peace, understanding, brotherly cohabitation among the different classes of the Ivorian nation.

18. In this regard, they expressed their satisfaction with the Meeting of African Intellectuals for Peace, held in Cotonou from 20-23 December 2002 on the situation in Côte d'Ivoire and noted with appreciation the relevant recommendations reached.

19. Concerning particularly the territorial integrity of Côte d'lvoire, the Heads of State of the Contact Group reiterated their adhesion to the provisions of the ECOWAS Protocol of Non-Aggression, signed in Lagos on April 22, 1978, by which every member State agreed not to carry out, encourage or support any subversive, hostile or aggressive actions against the territorial integrity or political independence of other States.

20. In the same way, they deplored the persistent proliferation of light weapons in the subregion and appealed to all ECOWAS member States to comply with the obligations contained in the Moratorium on the import, export and the manufacture of light weapons, adopted on 31 October 1998 in Abuja.

21. They also noted with regret that the use of ex-servicemen and children soldiers in conflicts going on in the subregion constitute a serious danger and a constant threat to peace and security in the subregion, and therefore, urged the International Community to support appropriate policies aimed at their reintegration.

22. The Heads of State of the Contact Group recalled that, in compliance with the provisions of the OAU Convention on the elimination of mercenaries in Africa, adopted in Libreville on 3 July 1997, African States pledged not to have recourse to the use of mercenaries in conflicts.

23. They also deplored with great concern the repeated human rights violations in Côte d'Ivoire, characterized by the discovery of the mass graves, and appealed for the respect of human dignity.

24. In respect of the latest developments of the situation in Côte d'Ivoire, the Heads of State of the Contact Group noted their initiative of the French Government to hold in Marcoussis, France, a Round Table of all the protagonists in the Ivorian crisis, and organize a Summit of countries concerned.

25. While saluting all efforts aimed at supporting the ECOWAS peace initiative, the Heads of State of the Contact Group observed that the High Level Contact Group has not yet submitted a report of its activities to the Conference of Heads of State and Government.

26. They therefore are of the view that ECOWAS cannot take a stand as an organization during the talks in Paris.

27. They called for an Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit as early as possible to enable the Contact Group to report on its activities.

28. They expressed their sincere appreciation and their gratitude to the President of the Republic of France, H.E. Mr. Jacques CHIRAC, and to the French Government for their readiness and their firm determination to help in finding a solution to the crisis and in restoring security, peace and political stability to Côte d'Ivoire.

29. They expressed their satisfaction with the efforts of the French Authorities and of other countries for their remarkable contributions to the deployment of the ECOWAS Force in order to ensure respect for the cease-fire and the return of peace and security to Côte d'Ivoire.

30. They renewed their gratitude to the International Community, especially to the United Nations Organizations, the African Union, the European Union and to the International Francophonie Organization for its support for the settlement of this sad conflict and urged it to increase its humanitarian assistance to the populations affected by the crisis.

31. They further exhorted the International Community to support, after the signing of a global peace and reconciliation Agreement, the reconstruction program of Côte d'Ivoire and that of the disarmament, demobilization and the reintegration of combatants and child soldiers.

32. At the end of their discussions, the members of the High Level Contact Group expressed their profound gratitude to President Gnassingbé EYADEMA. to the Government and People of Togo for the warm reception and generous hospitality accorded them, as well as the facilities put at their disposal in order to ensure the success of their discussions.

Done in Lome, on 20th January 2003

Signed:

For the Republic of Ghana
His Excellency
John Agyekum KUFUOR,
President of the Republic of Ghana

For the Republic of Guinea-Bissau
His Excellency
Kumba YALA,
President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau

For the Republic of Niger
His Excellency
Mamadou TANDJA,
President of the Republic of Niger

For the Federal Republic of Nigeria
His Excellency
Olusegun OBASANJO,
President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

For the Republic of Togo
His Excellency
Gnassingbé EYADEMA,
President of the Republic of Togo
Coordinator of the ECOWAS High Level Contact Group

For the Republic of Mali
His Excellency
Mohamed Mahmoud BEN LABAT,
Ambassador of the Republic of Mali,
Representing H.E. the President of the Republic of Mali