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LINAS-MARCOUSSIS AGREEMENT
IVORY COAST POLITICAL CRISIS


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The Linas-Marcoussis Agreement/ The Accra Agreement

Posted on January 25, 2003

From January 15 to January 24, 2003, a conference convened by France's Jacques Chirac too k place at Linas-Marcoussis, France, to find a solution to the political crisis that engulfed Ivory Coast since the failed coup of September 19, 2002.

In spite of a Ceasefire, several mediations sponsored by the African Union and Ecowas, the political situation was worsening day after day. Ivory Coast sliding to global civil war since the failed coup, which divided the country into two antagonist territories.

The Linas-Marcoussis gathering yielded encouraging results sealed into the Agreement of Linas-Marcoussis.

The Agreement, if well implemented, could save Ivory Coast from a devastating civil war, which negative political and economic consequences will radiate far beyond Ivory Coast borders to the neighboring countries and destabilize the whole West Africa region.

France should be hailed by the international community for taking the initiative of the conference and expertly guiding the discussions to the final Agreement. By doing so France saved Africa from experiencing another civil war like the bloody one still raging in Liberia.

Nevertheless, the political and economic future of Ivory Coast as a regional leader and the integrity of its territory remain in the hands of the Ivorians themselves. This Marcoussis Agreement represents the last chance to salvage peace and keep Ivory Coast on the path of sustained economic development. Let's hope the Ivorian politicians will cease playing with the Ivoirite concept.

In Africabiz Online Email Edition, dated February 15 - March 14, 2003, an analysis will be exposed on the political and economic consequences arising from the Marcoussis Agreement first for Ivory Coast and second for Africa.

The Marcoussis Agreement main salient points are below outlined. The full official issue of the Agreement in French is here available. Africabiz Online's translation in English here.

TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT


Based on Article 53 -Paragraph-3 of Ivory Coast's Constitution, which stipulates that "The President of the Republic had the authority to delegate, per decree, some of his power, prerogative and privilege to the Prime Minister...That delegation of power must be limited in duration and applied upon well defined and unambiguous matters.", the Marcoussis Conference decided for the appointment of a Prime Minister who will take over the executive power from current president (Gbagbo) for a transitional period starting January 25, 2003 and ending the date of the forthcoming presidential ballot of 2005.

POWERFUL PRIME MINISTER


The transitional government will comprise members from the main political parties and the rebels groups. The President cannot sack the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister cannot fire the ministers of the transitional government.

INTERNATIONAL SUPERVISING BODY


Provision had been made by the Conference to make sure that the Agreement is fully accepted by all parties involved in the Ivorian political crisis and that decisions and resolutions are carried out in time and without delay by the transitional government:


  • A Conference of African Head of States took place at Paris, January 25 - 26, 2003, convened and chaired by France's Jacques Chirac, to witness the official acceptance of the Marcoussis Agreement by Ivory Coast's President Laurent Gbagbo.

    Present at Paris Conference
    :
    Senegal's Wade (current president of Ecowas), Burkina-Faso's Compaore, South Africa's Mbeki (African Union's current president), Gabon's Bongo, Mali's Amani Toumani Toure; UN's Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of Ecowas, African Union's representative, European Union's Representative, international aids agencies and economic development organizations' representatives.

    Courtesy Reuters' Charles Platiau

    French President Jacques Chirac (Center of Picture) addresses the press at the end of the summit of African heads of states, during a news conference, at the Kleber conference hall in Paris, January 26, 2003. President Chirac is flanked by South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki (Left) and UN General Secretary Kofi Annan

  • An International Supervising Committee will be set up at Abidjan / Côte d'Ivoire, comprising representatives and delegates of:

    - The United Nations
    -
    The European Union
    -
    Ecowas
    - The African Union
    - The Organization of French Speaking Countries (OIF)
    - G-8 countries
    - The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund.
    - Etc

    Full official issue of Marcoussis Agreement is available in French here and Africabiz Online's translation in English is available here. United Nations' Security Council Resolution 1464 endorsing the Agreement is here.

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