|06ABIDJAN150||2006-02-12 08:03:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Abidjan|
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ABIDJAN 000150
1. (C) Since 2002, the Cote d'Ivoire peace process has gone
through multiple mediators and mediations including Lome,
Linas-Marcoussis, Accra, and Pretoria. Each has petered out
in turn, leaving Cote d'Ivoire far short of reunification,
disarmament, and elections. Per reftel, the new government
has been slow to launch its agenda, though Prime Minister
Banny's February 10 seminar in Yamoussoukro to establish the
responsibilities and priorities of the government, which is
being attended by the New Forces leader Guillaume Soro, could
be a positive beginning. The central theme of any future
engagement must contain the core message that President
Gbagbo and Prime Minister Banny make their partnership work
for peace. While we recognize that USG assistance is limited
by resource constraints, there are low-cost ways for the US
to maintain and deepen its engagement in advancing the peace
process. We offer the following recommendations:
2. (C) The new AU President Sassou has indicated that he will
relaunch the AU mediation effort with the arrival in Abidjan
of Foreign Minister Adada next week. It is unclear what form
Sassou's efforts will take and whether Presidents Mbeki and
Obasanjo will be central to that mediation. The USG can
signal to Sassou that we strongly support the AU mediation
but the AU needs to be consistent in its message and not
subject to internal tugs of war.
3. (C) Both Washington and the Post should continue to engage
in the political process with all parties, as we are one of
the few international actors that is seen as impartial and
respected by all sides. The Ambassador will travel to
rebel-held territory February 12 to press the New Forces on
the need to participate in the government and move to
Disarmament, Demobilization, and Rehabilitation (DDR). PM
Banny and President Gbagbo support this visit.
4. (C) The US should continue to be an active participant in
the International Working Group (IWG) to promote the
5. (C) We understand that UN Secretary General Koffi Annan
may invite President Gbagbo and Prime Minister Banny to New
York as early as February 20. We should encourage the
Secretary General to host this meeting.
6. (C) The New York meeting may also be an opportunity for
Secretary Rice to meet with President Gbagbo and PM Banny as
well to reinforce the importance that the USG places on
making progress towards reunification, DDR, and free, fair,
and transparent elections.
7. (C) We recommend that Washington consider demarches in
Ouagadougou and capitals of Cote d'Ivoire's other regional
neighbors to emphasize the importance of their playing a
helpful role in the peace process. The Government of Burkina
Faso in particular could influence the New Forces to move
toward disarmament and reunification of the country.
8. (C) We should help the UN to identify a proactive, strong,
senior-level official as a replacement for the departing UN
High Representative for Elections Antonio Monteiro.
9. (C) We should consider funding for organizations such as
IFES or NDI to assist with elections support.
10. (C) We should also encourage involvement by organizations
such as the Carter Center.
11. (C) Identification is central to the peace process as
well as to elections and is of particular concern to the NF.
We should reinforce the need to complete the identification
process and to issue new national identification cards in all
of our discussions, and consider how we might assist this
Disarmament Demobilization and Reunification
12. (C) We believe that US support in the area of
reintegration and community reconciliation would be
particularly useful. We could explore ways of doing this
through the NGO community or more directly should elections
be held and 508 sanctions lifted.
ABIDJAN 00000150 002 OF 002
13. (C) DOD should also consider committing a small
transformation study team from the US Joint Forces Command to
work with the FANCI Chief-of-Staff and the New Forces
Chief-of-Staff to develop a shared vision for the army's
14. (C) DOD should also consider a combined civil-military
team to work on the need to reinsert former combatants into
civil society. Current disarmament plans focus on
disarmament and demobilization but give little attention to
15. (C) The redeployment of civil servants to the north is
critical to the reunification of the country. Both in
Abidjan and in New York we should urge the UN to exercise
greater flexibility in the redeployment of troops from the
Zone of Confidence to the north to facilitate the return of
the civil servants.
16. (C) UNDPKO should work to develop a more rapid
redeployment process to provide greater flexibility in moving
troops from missions outside Cote d'Ivoire to backfill gaps
in ONUCI's coverage, particularly in times of crisis.
17. (C) Though it is a bit premature at this point, we should
also begin to look at our post-election engagement, which
will include the need to expeditiously lift 508 sanctions so
that we can resume assistance programs and DOD can resume
cooperation programs with a new Ivoirian military.
18. (C) Immediately following credible elections, we should
hold an extraordinary AGOA review for Cote d'Ivoire.
Bringing Cote d'Ivoire back into AGOA based largely on the
tremendous political progress that elections represent would
be a strong endorsement of the newly elected government.