Côte d’Ivoire urged to preserve peace at all costs

A summit of West African leaders on Tuesday told politicians in Côte d’Ivoire to preserve the fragile peace after last week’s surprise sacking of the Cabinet and the head of an electoral agency.

Leaders meeting under the aegis of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) said the dissolution of the Cabinet in the cocoa-rich country risked delaying the repeatedly postponed elections.

“They called on the Ivorian political class to do everything possible to preserve the peace process,” said a statement at the end of day-long closed-door talks in Nigeria.

In a shock decision Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo on Friday sacked the government and asked Prime Minister Guillaume Soro to form a new administration.

Gbagbo also dismissed the head of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), alleging that more than 400 000 names had been fraudulently added to the electoral rolls.

The opposition said most of them are from northern ethnic groups who are anti-Gbagbo.

Election delays
“The heads of state expressed their concern over the recent dissolution of the Cabinet and the independent electoral commission which they said would further delay the elections,” said the statement.

Soro’s former rebel New Forces (FN) on Tuesday reaffirmed their commitment to a Burkina Faso-brokered peace pact signed in 2007 and backing for their leader at a meeting in their stronghold of Bouake, attended by the prime minister.

The FN seized northern Côte d’Ivoire in 2002 before clinching a peace deal with Gbagbo giving them a share of power.

Gbagbo has remained in power for 10 years without seeking a second mandate after deferring elections six times.

The sudden sackings cast doubt on the divided west African country’s ability to hold scheduled elections next month, which are designed to unify a nation that has been split in two following a failed 2002 coup. — AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Decision time: Can Côte d’Ivoire’s president resist the allure of a third term?

After the death of the president’s chosen successor, the ruling party says “everything is possible”

Question marks surround Madagascar’s Covid-19 ‘miracle cure’

Despite Malagasy President Andry Rajoelina’s claims of a cure for Covid-19, experts say ‘there is absolutely no evidence’ that is true

Côte D’Ivoire’s president has imperilled West African democracy

Alassane Ouattara has finally committed to stepping down after his second term, but leaves behind a dangerous legacy for the region

WHO: Half of Africa’s countries can still avoid a serious outbreak

But only if draconian border closures are accompanied by effective public health interventions

Elections test Africa’s democracy

Nine countries will go to the polls this year, but most will be held amid violence and suppression

Africa must tell the rest of the world that we are not their dumping ground

The continent has long received more than its fair share of the world’s toxic waste, endangering the health of people who are exposed to it

New education policy on gender violence released

Universities and other higher education institutions have to develop ways of preventing or dealing with rape and other damaging behaviour

Cambridge Food Jozini: Pandemic or not, the price-gouging continues

The Competition Commission has fined Cambridge Food Jozini for hiking the price of its maize meal during April

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday