IVORY COAST PEACE PLAN  

(PLAN DE PAIX EN COTE D’IVOIRE)

proposed by

Diaspora et Jeunesse de Côte d’Ivoire (D.J.CI)
and
Citizens for Unity and Peace in Ivory Coast (CUP-CI)

Mr. Modeste Seri, President of Ivory Coast civil society organizations D.J.CI and CUP-CI, advocating for national unity and ethnic inclusiveness in the Côte d’Ivoire, has released a comprehensive proposal to restore peace and good governance to the country.  It provides an alternative path to the Linas-Marcussis and Accra Accords, so far fruitless for lack of a sincere commitment by current Ivorean leaders.

The plan calls for strengthening of U.N. peace keeping in the Ivory Coast, followed by a state-reconstruction sovereignty-sharing arrangement of sufficiently long duration with the U.N.

Such state-reconstruction of the Ivory Coast would be a suitable undertaking for the Peace Building Commission whose creation was recently proposed by the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.

The proposed inclusive transitional government comprises representatives of all ethnic and religious groups in the country, chosen for their professional competence and personal integrity, answerable to the U.N. Security Council. Their main task is to reconstruct state institutions, laying a solid foundation for a sustainable democracy, and for a future federal system that ensures a just sharing of power and resources among the five main regions of the country.

The costs of such a state-reconstruction project by the people of the Côte d’Ivoire in partnership with the international community could be funded from the rich resources of the country, with only an initial cost to international donors.

This approach will also provide a useful precedent for successful handling of other state failure problems in Africa and elsewhere, encouraging locals to follow the example of the Ivorean people who are asking for temporary sovereignty sharing with the U.N. to assist them to reconstruct their country and lay the foundations for sustainable peace. (Dec. 22/04).

 

D.J.CI is an umbrella organization bringing together a wide range of Ivorian civil society groups. It was initiated by the Ivorean diáspora together with members of the local Ivorean better-educated youth. CUP-CI is a fast-growing citizens movement in the Ivory Coast. Both are committed to total ethnic and religious inclusiveness. They aim to: (1) end the current artificially generated political violence, and (2) educate the population about the changes needed to develop a genuine democracy based on national unity.

The Ivory Coast Project

The CW/PS is providing policy and advocacy assistance as well as capacity building support to the Ivory Coast peace-seeking organization D.J.CI.—Diáspora et Jeunesse de Côte d’Ivoire, Presided by Ivorian Mr.  Modeste Gnamé Seri. D.J.CI. is the support arm abroad and locally  of the fast-growing Ivorian based people’s organization CUP-CI –Citizens for Unity and Peace in the Côte d’Ivoire, whose development CW/PS is also assisting through D.J.CI.  Dr Juan Federer has direct responsibility for the CW/PS’s activities in this regard.

The aim of this cooperation is to assist the development of these organizations and their efforts to promote a far-reaching, novel, UN-led peacekeeping intervention in Ivory Coast followed by serious international state-rebuilding assistance that Capitalizing on the experience and skills of its staff members in the area of post conflict state building, the CW/PS is mentoring D.J.CI. and CUP-CI, two emerging Ivorian civil society organizations. They are working toward not only bringing an end to the current artificially-created civil conflict in the CI, but also toward achieving lasting peace and good governance in this once successful and prosperous West African country.

a) Objectives

D.J.CI. and CUP-CI are promoting the acceptance of an Ivory Coast Peace Plan both outside and inside the country, with the support of CW/PS. This novel proposal stresses the need for strong involvement by the international community in the restoration of peace in CI and the need for a sufficiently long period of shared sovereignty with the international community represented by the U.N. and by regional organization such as the African Union and the European Union, for the purpose of rebuilding CI state institutions. The anticipated result of the envisaged process is to reverse the current conditions of state failure for the CI to become a prosperous, just, and well-governed successful democratic state.

This initiative is of significant international impact, as it will provide a precedent and a model for responses by the international community to the problem of weak, failing, and failed post-colonial states. Such states pose increasingly serious humanitarian problems and negatively affect world peace and security.

b) Strategy

CW/PS is assisting D.J.CI. with the development of CUP-CI as a mass-based democratic inclusive civil society movement in the CI. It is also providing technical advice and support as well as capacity-building to D.J.CI., to conduct the international campaign to promote adoption of the innovative peace plan all three bodies have jointly devised.

Campaigning is proceeding at two levels:

i) Internationally, D.J.CI. is promoting the Peace Plan among major CI stakeholders. It is an advocacy project seeking the support of leading powers, firstly for increasing international peace-keeping intervention, and, secondly, to commit the necessary supports for a longer-term tutelary process of reconstruction of state institutions by the international community in a sovereignty-sharing arrangement with the CI. Since this involves a novel approach, it requires a detailed process of explanation of the great benefits to be gained form adopting this peace plan, both for the Ivorean people as well as for the international community. The campaign requires intensive approaches to governments and international opinion-shapers in the media, academia and civil society in key countries. An important part of this advocacy work needs to be carried out in New York, the seat of the U.N. 

ii) Inside the CI, D.J.CI. with CUP-CI are engaging in grass-roots meetings aimed at providing education to the village public about the need for ethnic inclusiveness, national reconciliation, and a change of leadership from traditional politicians who have brought the country to ruin due to their ethnic violence-fomenting self-seeking policies.  In addition to civic education, aimed at providing a proper understanding of the rights and duties of democratic governance in an ethnically inclusive and tolerant society, the action is aimed at ensuring the country’s sustainable peace and future economic stability and development.

Main campaign aspects:

The international work consists in:

(1) Maintaining close contact with U.N. security Council member states, other U.N. member states, U.N. bodies, regional organizations (AU, ECOWAS,EU), to gain support for the approach proposed by the Peace Plan.

(2) Encouraging discussion of the benefits of adoption of the Peace Plan among relevant academics and thinkers, media, political activists and others who influence international public opinion.

(3) Encouraging publication of writings in support of the Peace Plan.

(4) Fundraising for this work and for activities in the CI.   

With the aid of CW/PS, D.J.CI. and CUP-CI are organizing an all-inclusive peace conference, primarily aimed at bringing together –mostly younger-- representatives of the various sectors of the CI community. It is anticipated that the event will be held in early 2005 in Ghana. Its main aim is to seek understanding and unity among those sectors that are not willing to continue supporting present policies of ethnic division and rivalry espoused by the current political leadership. It will include activities to build confidence and promote peace and acceptance among the various delegates, as well as healing. The outcome is expected to be a commitment to the Peace Plan.

The work of D.J.CI. and CUP-CI inside the Ivory Coast centers on: strengthening CUP-CI’s mass base, establishing operational centers in all major locations, promoting discussion about the need for ethnic inclusiveness, providing civic education on democracy and rule of law, and promoting the Peace Plan.  In addition, outreach to leaders and members of other political groupings, including the main conflicting parties, is taking place with a view to promote unity and acceptance of the PP.

The CW/PS sees its contribution to D.J.CI. and CUP-CI not only as a way to assist the ending of war and the restoration of a sustainable peace in the Ivory Coast, but also as a contribution to a significant world peace initiative. The international involvement in Ivorian state-rebuilding –legitimized by a request from the local people– being proposed by D.J.CI. and CUP-CI would set a valuable precedent for other much needed instances for international tutelary state-strengthening interventions in failing and failed post-colonial states.  The resulting strengthening of elements of central governance in the contemporary international system would further assist the development of global rule of law. In this way, the CW/PS is helping to pave the road toward the achievement of future peace through the end of war as a state policy instrument.

The Ivory Coast assistance project of the CW/PS shares a common thread with the organization’s other two current projects, i.e. one, a campaign to promote U.N. reform, in particular, the promotion of a weighted voting procedure for the U.N. General Assembly and the adoption of a taxing procedure on international currency exchange transactions (Tobin Tax) as a means of funding the U.N.; and, two, providing institutional and fiscal support to a Global Provisional People’s Assembly project, a straightforward initiative to create a world parliament.