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POLITICAL SCIENCE

AFRICAN UNION AND RESOLUTION OF THE POST 2010-2011 ELECTION CRISIS IN COTE D’IVOIRE

AFRICAN UNION AND RESOLUTION OF THE POST 2010-2011 ELECTION IN COTE D'IVOIRE

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AFRICAN UNION AND RESOLUTION OF THE POST 2010-2011 ELECTION CRISIS IN COTE D'IVOIRE

ABSTRACT

Cote d'Ivoire, in the West African sub-region, has recently faced a political crisis resulting from the presidential election held in October 2010. This has piqued the interest of the international community, including the United Nations, , the African Union, France, and others, in the country's peace process.

The African Union, a defunct organisation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), was established to deal with the issue of settling conflicts on the African continent in order to preserve and promote African unity. The African Union was able to establish the Peace Security Council and the Wise Men Panel to monitor the conflict situation in Cote d'ivoire.

According to this analysis, the post-election crisis of 2010/2011 was a watershed moment for key variables that are crucial to conflict situations in Africa. Using functionalist theory,

the study investigated whether the African Union Peace Process mechanisms in Cote d'ivoire aid in conflict resolution and whether there is a link between the postelection turmoil and human rights violations.

The qualitative method of data collection was used to collect data/information for the study, while the descriptive method of was used.

This study notes that the apparent success recorded by the African Union in reducing the escalation of the conflict lies in the collaboration between the organisation and other concerned mediators, as well as the commitment of factions in the conflict to finding a solution to the country's political crisis.

CHAPITRE ONE

1.1. INTRODUCTION
The African Union (AU) was established in 2001 to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).The African Union is a regional organisation for the continent's fifty-three (53) nations to coordinate economic and political activities.

The structure is made up of the following components: The Assembly – The Executive Council – The Permanent Representative Committee – The Commission – The Specialised Technical Committee – The Pan-African Parliament – The Court of Justice – The Economic, Social, and Cultural Council – The Financial Institution – The Peace and Security Council;

Which has 15 members responsible for monitoring and intervening in conflicts on the continent using an Early Warning System. According to Article 3 of the African Union's Constitutive ,

the organisation is charged with various obligations, including: – Promoting Peace, Security, and Stability on the African Continent – Promoting democratic principles and institutions, popular involvement, and good governance

– Promoting and protecting human and people's rights in conformity with the African Charter on Human and People's Rights and other applicable human rights instruments.

Article 4 of the Constitutive Act outlines the organization's basic principles, which include: – Peaceful resolution of conflicts among member states of the union through such appropriate means as may be decided upon by the Assembly.

– The right of the union to intervene in a member state pursuant to a decision of the Assembly in respect of grave circumstances, namely war, crimes, genocide, and crime against humanity.

Africa is a continent rife with armed wars.There is no point in stating the obvious: Africa has been confronted with unparalleled levels and intensities of complex political, economic, environmental, and social upheavals since the turn of the century.

These difficulties have triggered the most catastrophic intra-state conflicts seen on a single continent anywhere in the globe in the previous decade and a half. The United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs declared eight of the fifteen “complex emergencies” in Africa (Herbst, 1998; Collers and Mills, 1999).

In keeping with the preceding, Galadima (1990) summarised the continent as follows: Conflicts in central Africa explode into ethnic bloodshed in Zaire, Burundi, and Rwanda.

There was an armed insurgency in Northern Uganda, a civil war in Sudan, and border clashes between Ethiopia and Eritrea.Despite efforts to resurrect it, Somalia has remained a collapsed state.

Lesotho experienced an armed uprising, and Angola was in upheaval. Even as rebels battled in Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau, Liberia was on the verge of collapse in West Africa. While Cote d'Ivoire is dealing with armed insurrection, Sudan is dealing with a humanitarian disaster caused by a brutal intra-state struggle of almost genocidal proportions.

The African Union has made efforts to become an active actor in African conflict settlement.

Between 2002 and 2004, Cote d'Ivoire experienced a civil war between the government of then-President Laurent Gbagbo and the rebel forces Nouvelles de Cote d'Ivoire (New forces), which represented Muslim Northerners who felt discriminated against by the politically dominant and mostly Christian Southerners.

In 2002, France sent troops to Cote d'Ivoire as part of Operation Unicorn as peacekeepers. In February 2004, the United Nations established the United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) to facilitate the of the peace agreement signed by the Ivorian parties in January 2003.

By late 2004, most of the fighting had subsided, with the country divided between insurgents in the north and the government in the south. In March , the two parties agreed to hold new elections, although these were postponed until 2010, five years after Gbagbo's mandate was set to expire.

The country's independent Electoral Commission certified Alassane Ouattara the winner of the 2010 Ivorian presidential election, but the president of the Constitutional Council, an ally of Gbagbo, declared the results illegitimate and declared Gbagbo the winner. Gbagbo and Ouattara both declared victory.

The international community, including the United Nations, the African Union, ECOWAS, the European Union, and former colonial power- France, has reinforced their support for Ouattara, who was widely regarded to have defeated Gbagbo at the voting box and has called on him to step down.

The post-election crisis in Cote d'Ivoire erupted in March 2011 when the problem erupted into a full-fledged armed war between forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, the country's President since 2000, and supporters of internationally recognised President elect Alasane Ouattara.

After months of failed discussions and periodic violence between supporters of the two sides, the crisis reached a tipping point when Ouattara's forces gained control of the majority of the country, while Gbagbo remained entrenched in Abidjan, the country's largest city.

As a result, this study focuses on the African Union and theresolution of the post-election situation in Cote d'ivoire in 2010/2011. It would be organised into five chapters to vividly illustrate the facts that comprise the work's body.

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