Côte d'Ivoire: No Peace in Sight
The January 2003 Linas-Marcoussis Accords have been badly compromised by a lack of good faith and political will. All the key issues -- nationality, eligibility for elections, and disarmament -- that they attempted to address in order to restore peace and national unity to Côte d'Ivoire and lead it to presidential elections in October 2005 are stalemated. No political actor has shown the will to break the impasse. Opposition parties have left the Government of National Reconciliation. The Forces Nouvelles, remnants of the armed group that attempted a coup in September 2002 and subsequently took control of the north of the country, not only refuse to disarm until after elections, but are flirting with secession. The international community, and especially the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), needs to take on the spoilers more assertively and openly. Its diplomacy should be backed by a strong attempt to end impunity. Otherwise there is real risk not only of continued violence but that the war could spread across West African borders.