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Research Report

The Security Sector in Côte d’Ivoire:: A Source of Conflict and a Key to Peace

Arthur Boutellis
Copyright Date: May. 1, 2011
Pages: 24

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. [i]-[i])
  2. (pp. [ii]-[iii])
  3. (pp. 1-1)
  4. (pp. 1-2)

    The latest political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire has put the Ivoirian Defense and Security Forces (DSF) in the spotlight yet again. As forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, members of the DSF were directly involved in the crackdown on Alassane Ouattara’s supporters in the days following the November 28, 2010, presidential election run-off.¹ In turn, Gbagbo-loyal soldiers became the target of attacks as fighting erupted in the western part of the country,² breaching the six-year ceasefire between ex-rebels and government troops,³ before Ouattara-allied forces finally marched on Abidjan. Until the very end, the DSF were the key constituency that allowed Gbagbo...

  5. (pp. 2-9)

    In order to understand the current dynamics within the Ivoirian security forces, and between the security forces and politics, it is essential to look first at the country’s history. Côte d’Ivoire became independent from French rule on August 7, 1960. The country’s first post-independence constitution, like its French model, provided for a strong presidential role, giving the president the power to appoint civil and military officers for the states. The National Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire (Forces armées nationales de Côte d'Ivoire [FANCI]) was composed of the army, navy, air force, and the gendarmerie, and reported to the Minister of...

  6. (pp. 10-14)

    A UN Technical Assessment Mission (TAM) that visited Côte d’Ivoire in early 2010 found that even before the elections SSR could have a significant impact in restoring confidence, consolidating achievements, strengthening the rule of law, and easing the transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding. It also concluded that UNOCI would have a comparative advantage in playing a leadership and coordination role for international support to SSR in Côte d’Ivoire.38 What this mission may not have foreseen was that, without significant DDR progress and a start to the SSR process, elections would lead to a deadlock. Indeed, although a subsequent UN Security...

  7. (pp. 14-19)

    As noted by the UN Secretary-General in a 2008 report on SSR, “the experience of the United Nations in mediating peace agreements has demonstrated the importance of addressing security issues at the outset.”74 The failure to reunify Ivoirian security forces (loyalist DSF and Forces Nouvelles) has negatively impacted the implementation of peace accords, and is in great part responsible for the escalation of the recent political-electoral crisis into a military confrontation. Both loyalist forces and FN elements have showed high levels of politicization, and what little trust that had been built at the highest levels—through the Integrated Command Centre,...

  8. (pp. 20-20)