Newsletter ISSN 1563-4108
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The Marcoussis' Agreement (The Agreement / The Conference) was signed at Marcoussis, France, on January 24, 2003, by main political parties and rebels groups. The Agreement is meant to put an end to the political crisis and civil unrest nearing civil war that had engulfed Ivory Coast since September 19, 2002. Click here for the Marcoussis Agreement.

The Agreement set up a reconcilement government, which composition reads as follows:

Structure of the Reconcilement Government: 9 Super Ministers (Ministres d'Etat): Foreign Affairs - PDCI; Ministry of Defense - MPCI; Ministry Of Territorial Administration (Ministère de de l'Intrieur) - MPCI; Ministry Of Justice - RDR; Ministry Of Economy And Finance - FPI; Ministry Of Infrastructure - PDCI; Ministry Of Agriculture - RDR; Ministry Of Mines And Energy - FPI; Ministry Of Education - UDPCI

Others Attribution of Ministries: 5 To FPI ; 5 To MPCI ; 5 To PDCI ; 5 To RDR ; 1 To UDPCI ; 1 To PIT ; 1 To UDCY ; 1 To MPIGO ; 1 To MJP ; 1 To MFA. Click here for siglum signification.

The working program for the reconcilement government is below outlined. It has been issued as an Annex to the Marcoussis Agreement.

- This English version is not the official translation in English of the original in French.

This English version, translated from the official French issue, is a contribution from Africabiz Online to inform the international business community at large. You may refer to the French version for more accuracy about the proceeds of the Marcoussis Agreement.

Citizenship / Electoral Framework / Candidacy To The Presidency / Land Reform
Media / Human Rights / Disarmament & Demobilization / Economic Recovery
The Marcoussis Agreement
/ Comments On The Marcoussis Agreement / Accra Agreement
Reasons Behind The Collapse Of Ivory Coast / There Is No Poor African Country


1) The Conference reviewed Law N 61-415, dated December 14, 1961; modified by Law N 72-852, dated December 21, 1972 pertaining to Ivory Coast's Citizenship Code. The Conference found that said laws are well enacted and are good complementary mixture of citizenship based on birth on national territory / Jus Soli (Droit du Sol) and citizenship based on kinship birthright / Jus Sanguini (Droit de Sang). The laws, in addition, made provision for the postulation by foreigners for Ivory Coast's citizenship through the naturalization process.

The Conference, nevertheless, considers that the implementation of the Law was hampered by many roadblocks, either because the populations are not well acquainted with the Laws and their rights hereto, or because of malpractice by the authorities and state' security forces in charge of the application of the Law.

The Conference reached the conclusion that there is a judicial and or legal difficulty to apply the Articles of the Laws N 6 and N 7 of the Citizenship Code. That difficulty is complicated by the fact that, in practice, the certificate of citizenship is valid for a duration of three months and, moreover, the grantee is obliged to produce, each time he requests a renewal, documents standing as administrative proofs that he is entitled to the citizenship. In spite of said difficulty, hindrances and obstacles to acquiring the Citizenship, the enactment of the Citizenship Code had been carried out up to now (by the authorities).

Therefore, the reconcilement government shall:

a) Immediately give a new start to existing naturalization process through a better presentation of the Laws and if necessary request for the international cooperation and assistance of development agencies.

b) Bring in a naturalization bill, as a special exception act, within a period of six months maximum, which will solve, in an easy and simple manner, the many naturalization cases now blocked and sent to common Law jurisdiction (particularly the cases of former beneficiaries of the provisions set forth in Articles 17 to 23 of Law N 61-415, rescinded by Law N 72-852, and for people residing in Ivory Coast before August 7, 1960 - the independence Day - who have not exercised their rights to acquire the Ivorian citizenship within the required time), and to expand the naturalization bill, through add-on to Article 12, with provision allowing foreigners married with Ivorian women to acquire the Ivorian citizenship.

2) To remove any uncertainty and curtail the duration of the identification process, and also in order to circumvent possible malpractice undertaken by the security forces, the reconcilement government shall take the initiative to develop new actions with regards the registry office and civil status; in particular:

a) The suppression of current ongoing identification process until the enforcing decrees of the Laws; and the establishment, as quickly as possible, of a National Committee of Identification, headed by a judge and comprising representatives of political parties that will be in charge of supervising the National Office Of Identification.

b) The strict adherence of the identification law to the Citizenship Code as far as proof of citizenship is concerned

3) The Conference, taking into account the fact that the large number of foreigners residing in Ivory Coast contributed very significantly to the wealth of the country; and therefore endowed Ivory Coast with leadership position and responsibility in the West Africa region; and that the wealth of the country benefited also to the foreigners' countries of origin; the Conference considers that pestering and petty annoyances exercised by security and police forces against foreigners, which are, most of the time, in complete breach to their rights and in total non respect to their dignity, may be regarded as the consequences of deviance to the provisions of the identification's Law.

a) Therefore, the reconcilement government shall immediately suppress the delivery of Identification Cards, stipulated in Article 8 Par 2 of Law N 2002-03, dated January 3, 2002, concerning foreigners originating from Ecowas and shall undertake the necessary control of the immigration through transparent identification means and process, which cannot be diverted.

b) Furthermore, the reconcilement government shall explore and promote necessary legal and parliamentary measures improving foreigners' condition and securing their life and property.

c) The Conference insists on the necessity for Ecowas' states members to ratify, as quickly as possible, existing protocols about free circulation of people and property; to establish and reinforce their cooperation with regards the immigration problem; to fully respect the rights of migrants and to diversify economic development centers within the Ecowas region. These undertakings could be implemented with the assistance of international agencies of economic development.


1) The Conference considers that Law 2000-514, dated August 1, 2000, dealing with the Electoral Code is an attempt to improve previous electoral framework; and that Law 2001-634, dated January 9, 2001, which created the Independent Electoral Commission, is a significant contribution to the organization of transparent electoral ballots.

2) The reconcilement government shall take necessary steps and measures:

a) To implement a transparent and unbiased identification and registration of the constituency.

b) To propose several amendments to Law 2001-634, having in mind a better representation in the Independent Electoral Commission of parties that attended the gathering at Linas-Marcoussis, including within the bureau of the Independent Electoral Commission.

c) To introduce a project or bill, within a maximum period of 6 months, concerning the status of the opposition and the public financing to be granted to political parties and to voting campaigns.

d) To introduce, within a period of one year, a bill dealing with illicit money gains; and organize in an effective manner the control of the declaration of patrimony, assets and property to be produced by the elect and people representatives.

e) To take necessary measures to ensure and guarantee the independence of the judicial body and the impartiality of the media, in the matters of electoral disputes and electoral propaganda.


The Conference considers that Article 35 of the Constitution dealing with the election of the President of the Republic shall avoid referring to concepts void of legal basis or related to legislative decrees. The reconcilement government shall therefore propose that the conditions applicable to the election of the President of the Republic read as follows:

"The President of the Republic is elected for a period of five years under direct universal franchise. He is entitled to be reelected only once. The candidate to the position of President of the Republic should not be disfranchised and must have the full possession of his civil and political rights; and be at least thirty-five years old. He should exclusively have the Ivorian Citizenship and be born from a father or a mother who has the Ivorian citizenship."

2) The Citizenship Code shall be amended, with regards the conditions applicable to the loss of Ivorian citizenship as enacted in Article 53, with the addition of the following words: "actually practicing legislative or governmental office or duties in a foreign country".

3) The President of the Republic will each year release his health bulletin.


1) The Conference considers that Law N 98-750, dated December 23, 1998, unanimously adopted by the national parliament, is a reference bill dealing with a delicate legal matter and crucial economic interests.

2) However, the reconcilement government shall take necessary measures:

a) To insure that the step by step implementation of said Law is backed by a campaign drive of explanations and information addressed to the rural populations; in order to effectively achieve a true, reliable and transparent land reform.

b) To propose an amendment to Article 26 of the Law, in order to improving the protection of vested interests of lands owners and their heirs; vested interests that are anterior to the proclamation of the Law and which are not however sufficient conditions for land acquisition as enacted in article 1.


1) The Conference blames heinous and xenophobia content dispatched by or published in some media.

2) The national reconcilement government shall, within a period of one year, reconsider the media's legal framework, in order to reinforce the role of the authorities in charge of its regulation, to guarantee the neutrality and impartiality of the public service and encourage and promote their financial independence. Above outlined measures could benefit from the assistance of development agencies and international aid's partners.

3) The reconcilement government shall authorize the free broadcast of international media, radios and televisions networks.


1) The reconcilement government shall set up immediately a national Human Rights Commission that will watch over the protection of people's rights and freedom in Ivory Coast. The Human Rights Commission shall comprise delegates from all parties and headed by a personality accepted by all.

2) The reconcilement government shall request the establishment of an international commission that will be in charge of investigation all over the whole Ivory Coast territory, in order to record violations to human rights and to international humanitarian law, since the events of September 19, 2002

3) Upon report from the International Investigation Commission, the reconcilement government shall decide over which violations should be reported to the justice in order to act against impunity (of wrongdoers). The Conference condemns particularly the actions of "death squads", their chiefs, the initiators, executors, men or women of deeds; and the authors and accomplices of random killings all over Ivorian national territory. The Conference considers that people responsible for such despicable deeds should be arraigned and sued before the International Court Of Justice.

4) The reconcilement government shall assist the implementation of humanitarian operations in favor of all the victims of the conflict all over the national Ivorian territory. Based on the report produced by the national Human Rights Commission, the reconcilement government shall take indemnification and rehabilitation measures in favor of the victims.


1) As soon as the reconcilement government is in place, it shall undertake simultaneous cantonment of the troops under the supervision of Ecowas and French's forces.

2) In a second step, the reconcilement government shall study and elaborate disarmament and demobilization measures that will also be carried out under the supervision of Ecowas and French forces.

3 The new recruiting made since September 19, 2002 shall be immediately demobilized.

4) The reconcilement government shall take necessary measures for the reinsertion of demobilized military men and women of all (armed forces) origin with the assistance of programs such as Disarmament Demobilization Repatriation Reinstallation Reinsertion (DDRRR) , which can be set forth with the assistance of international development agencies and aid's partners.

5) The reconcilement government shall take all necessary measures to free and grant amnesty to all military men and women jailed for breach of state' security and will extend such measures to exiled military men and women. The amnesty Law will not in any way exonerate person responsible of aggravated economic wrong-doings and violations to human rights and international humanitarian law.

6) The reconcilement government shall audit its armed forces and shall evaluate the level of financial means it can dedicate to its national defense obligations. It shall then after such an audit undertake the reorganizing of its armed forces and request adequate external assistance and aid.


1) The reconcilement government shall reinstate free circulation of person and property all over the national territory and facilitate the resumption of schooling, administrative power and global economic and social activities.

2) The reconcilement government shall prepare as quickly as possible a reconstruction plan dedicated to infrastructure restoration and to economic revival, and to the strengthening of the social cohesion.

3) The Conference is hereby presenting a request of assistance and aid to the international community of economic development agencies and aid's partners.


The reconcilement government shall make sure that constitutional, legislative, administrative and regulatory reforms necessary for the decisions it will have to take are set forth and implemented as quickly as possible. Click here for Security Council's Resolution 1464 endorsing Marcoussis Agreement