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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ABIDJAN718
2006-07-06 18:16:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Abidjan
Cable title:  

COTE D'IVOIRE: UN SECRETARY GENERAL CHAIRS

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  KPKO  ASEC  IV 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO1012
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHAB #0718/01 1871816
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 061816Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1545
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 1377
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0322
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ABIDJAN 000718 

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KINSHASA PASS TO BRAZZAVILLE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/06/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPKO ASEC IV
SUBJECT: COTE D'IVOIRE: UN SECRETARY GENERAL CHAIRS
MINI-SUMMIT IN YAMOUSSOUKRO


Classified By: POL/ECON Jim Wojtasiewicz, reasons 1.4 (B) and (D).



1. (C) Summary. UNSYG Annan chaired a mini-summit on Cote
d'Ivoire in which participants set several deadlines to
accelerate key elements of the peace process, including
identification, DDR, and organization of elections. There
was no discussion of possible scenarios if presidential
elections are postponed beyond October but the SYG announced
plans to hold a meeting on Cote d'Ivoire on the margins of
the UN General Assembly in September to assess the situation
and take any necessary measures. Opposition figures
professed satisfaction with the Yamoussoukro meeting but we
will have to see if the measures agreed upon are in fact
implemented. Since the first deadlines are set for July 15,
we will not have long to wait. End summary.



2. (SBU) On July 5, UN Secretary General Koffi Annan made a
short visit to Cote d,Ivoire to host a "mini-summit" on the
Ivoirian peace process. The meeting was attended by Nigerian
President Obasanjo, South African president Mbeki, Republic
of the Congo Foreign Minister Adada, Ghanaian Foreign
Minister Akuffo-Addo, and representatives of the presidents
of Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali. On the Ivoirian side, it
was attended by all but one of the country's principal
political leaders: President Gbagbo; Prime Minister Banny;
former Prime Minister Ouattara, leader of the opposition RDR
(Rally of Republicans) party; and Guillaume Soro, leader of
the rebel New Forces (FN). Conspicuously absent was former
President Bedie, leader of the opposition PDCI (Democratic
Party of Cote d'Ivoire). Bedie was represented by PDCI
Secretary General Djedje Mady.

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3. (C) The meeting took place from 1430 to 1830 at the Felix
Houphouet-Boigny Foundation in Yamoussoukro. We understand
that Annan originally wanted to hold this meeting on the
margins last weekend's African Union (AU) summit, but Gbagbo
refused and the venue was changed to Yamoussoukro according
to Abou Moussa, ONUCI Deputy UN Special Representative of the
Secretary General.

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4. (C) The participants issued a communique at the end of the
meeting that set several deadlines. By July 15, 50 mobile
courts are to be deployed throughout the country to expedite
the citizen identification process in preparation for voter
registration and elections. Also by July 15, a DDR
(Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration) monitoring
committee is to be created including representatives from the
UN Peacekeeping Mission in Cote d'Ivoire (ONUCI), the French
Licorne peacekeeping force, the Prime Minister,s office, and
the chiefs of staff of the Ivoirian Armed Forces (FANCI) and
the FN armed forces (FAFN). By July 15, President Gbagbo is

to issue a decree authorizing the Independent Electoral
Commission (CEI) to change the electoral code in order to
facilitate elections. (The current electoral code requires
voter lists to be made available for public inspection for at
least ninety days after they are finished, a requirement that
would be impossible to meet if elections are to be held by
October 31.). By July 31, the pre-regroupment phase of
disarmament, in which ex-combatants from FANCI and the FN are
assembled in designated locations under their own command
structures, is to be completed; pro-Gbagbo militias are to be
dismantled; and local offices of the CEI are to be deployed
throughout the country. (the FANCI has indicated that it has
already completed pre-regroupment of its troops. FN
spokesman Sidiki Konate told us July 6 that the FN have
pre-regrouped 30,000 of 33,000 troops in 45 sites. He
expected that the remaining FN troops would be pre-regrouped
in five additional sites over the next few days and the
process should be completed by Sunday, July 9. The DDR
monitoring committee is tasked with certifying that the
pre-regroupment process has been completed successfully.)



5. (U) The communique also reiterated the importance of free
circulation for UN peacekeeping forces, especially to observe
the DDR process. It called on political leaders to urge
journalists associated with their parties to contribute
constructively to peace process and noted that people who
incite hatred are subject to UN sanctions.



6. (C) The communique reaffirmed paragraph 6 of the Pretoria
2 agreement, which states in part, "The leaders reaffirmed
that the CEI is the sole institution in charge of the
electoral process and the National Institute of Statistics
(INS) should report to the CEI on matters relating to the
elections." (Note: The purpose of this language was to
declare unambiguously that the INS, which is controlled by
Gbagbo cronies, is subservient to the CEI, which the Pretoria
Agreement made truly independent. However, Gbagbo has taken

ABIDJAN 00000718 002 OF 002


to asserting that paragraph 6 means exactly the opposite --
that the INS alone is in charge of voter registration and
needs only to keep the CEI informed of what it is doing.)



7. (U) The communique also called for a donors conference to
be convened to assure adequate financing for the elections,
as soon as sufficient progress has been marked in the
electoral process.



8. (U) Finally, the communique welcomed the Secretary
General's intention to organize a meeting in September, on
the margins of the UN General Assembly, to assess the
situation in Cote d'Ivoire and take measures as appropriate.



9. (C) PDCI Secretary General Djedje Mady told us July 6 that
the opposition was pleased with the outcome of the meeting,
but, as always, it remained to be seen whether the agreement
would in fact be implemented. FN spokesman Sidiki Konate
told us the same day that the FN also felt that the meeting
was positive and frank. He said all agreed that the peace
process is on track but needs to be accelerated. Konate
confirmed that the purpose of the presidential decree
concerning the electoral process would be to eliminate the
90-day waiting period between the completion of voter
registration lists and the holding of elections. Konate
acknowledged that there was still some ambiguity concerning
the relative roles of the CEI and the INS, and there will
need to be good will on the part of both institutions to
implement that part of the communique correctly. He said the
CEI intends to put the voter registration process out to
public tender. The INS will be free to bid on this tender,
but will only be selected if it is the best institution to do
the job. Both Mady and Konate indicated that there was no
discussion of post-October scenarios if the elections cannot
be held by then but expected that the issue will be addressed
if necessary in September at the UN.



10. (C) Comment. The Ivoirians have shown repeatedly that
they are happy to sign agreements in which they promise the
moon to each other and to the international community but
then lack the political will to follow through on their
promises. This latest agreement represents one last burst of
energy and enthusiasm to try to get to the elections more or
less on time. With the first deadlines only nine days away,
it will become clear very soon whether this time the
Ivoirians are serious. End Comment.
Hooks