Africa’s Position On Cote D’ivoire At The Security Council


    The monthly consultation meeting of the Africa Group of Ambassadors at the United Nations was convened on Thursday 13th January 2011 at the behest of the African Members and the Security Council i.e. Gabon, Nigeria, and South Africa.
    2. This was to enable the latter countries brief the Group on the latest African position adopted at the Security Council on Cote d’Ivoire, and what would appear to be an emerging consensus on the Council.
    3. The said position is summarized as follows:
    * the military option is “no option”
    * the evolving refugee situation is a matter of concern
    * the victory of Mr. Alhassane Ouattara as President-elect of Cote d’Ivoire should be respected

    4. All the African Ambassadors at the meeting who elected to comment on the above stated 6-point position, took turns to commend the African Members of the Security Council for the diligent and pragmatic position taken.
    5. In the particular case of Burkina Faso, the Ambassador intimated, in apparent reference to point (4) above, that the mandate of President Compaore of Burkina Faso, as ECOWAS mediator in the Cote d’Ivoire crisis, ended with the holding of the recent elections in that country
    6. Still on Cote d’Ivoire, Information reaching this Mission is that ECOWAS had planned to field two Missions to some major capitals in North America and Europe i.e. to New York and Washington comprising the Presidents of Sierra Leone and Mali, and on the other hand, to Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi led by the President of the ECOWAS Commission.
    7. While it is not clear whether the North American leg of the Mission would come on, our information is that regarding the Asian segment, only India appears to have responded positively to the planned ECOWAS Mission to Asia and Moscow. The latest development appears to be that President Compaore of Burkina Faso, the Permanent Secretary of the Nigerian Foreign Ministry, and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, are embarking on a Mission to London and Paris this week. However, since London is receiving the delegation only at the ministerial level, it is likely that; President Compaore will only travel to Paris.
    8. Furthermore, indications are that the ECOWAS Chiefs of Staff will be meeting this week in Bamako, Mali on the Cote d’Ivoire situation.
    9. Ghana’s long espoused position disrecommending the military option in Cote d’Ivoire appears to have been vindicated although the solution to the ongoing crisis seems to be highly elusive.
    10. The United Nations says it is looking up to ECOWAS and the African Union to help find an answer to the current stalemate. The upcoming AU Summit at the end of January 2011 should therefore be critical in the on going efforts to help bring closure to the current electoral crisis in Cote d’Ivoire.
    11. The Mission will continue to monitor the situation and report accordingly.