Ivory Coast: NGO ICEA

In Côte d’Ivoire, the revision of the electoral list (RLE) which ends on Tuesday, December 20, 2022 paves the way for local elections in the country.

The NGO ICEA – Côte d’Ivoire invites politicians and activists to create the conditions for an electoral process without violence

After the violence observed during the visit of President Laurent Gbagbo on December 9 and 10, 2022 to the Mé region, the NGO ICEA-CI denounces the acts of hostility noted a few weeks before the municipal elections coupled with the regional councils and calls for the strengthening of democracy through clean elections, without violence.

Declaration of the Citizens’ Initiative for peaceful elections in Côte d’Ivoire (ICEA-CI)

On the occasion of President Laurent Gbagbo’s visit to the Mé region on December 9 and 10, 2022, acts of hostility of astonishing violence, punctuated by tribalist remarks, the destruction of posters and the burning of a transport bus, were perpetrated in the department of Adzopé against supporters of the former President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire who was only responding to the invitation of the people of this region. This physical violence was prolonged by numerous cases of verbal violence observed on both sides, on the part of the most prominent actors of the political class.

These acts of violence coincide with “the conveyances of electoral cattle” denounced as electoral fraud operations in preparation since the launch of the operation of the Revision of the Electoral Lists (RLE) which ends on December 20, 2022.

II- Our observation

These facts, which should be the subject of strong disapproval, condemnations and/or investigations and sanctions to serve as examples and lessons, obviously seem to move no one, despite the major conflict risks they carry. Does this mean that the Ivory Coast would be subject to a curse, a curse for the rest of its existence? Should we believe that in this country there would be no more men, women, organizations, partners capable of putting a stop to these extremely serious acts and behaviors, bearers of division and social explosion?

These observations are all the more worrying since since the death of President Houphouët-Boigny, of President Henri Konan Bédié (who inherited power) to President Alassane Ouattara, including the late General Robert Guéi and President Laurent Gbagbo, the Côte d’Ivoire has never experienced a handover from an outgoing president to an elected president. The various changes of regime have always been punctuated by marked violence, in addition to the immense material damage, by numerous losses of human life, injuries, disabled people for life, orphans, widowers, widows and the idle, etc…

Today, one year from the local elections of 2023 and three years from the presidential election of 2025 in our country, objective reasons for concern remain, with these hotbeds of tension and these acts of violence observed here and there, in truth warning signs of new high-risk electoral polls.

III- Our position

Faced with these large clouds gathering in the pre-election sky in Côte d’Ivoire, the NGO Citizen Initiative for Peaceful Elections in Côte d’Ivoire (ICEA-CI) is once again sounding the alarm by calling on all Ivorian social body on its responsibility to do everything possible so that the country does not experience any more troubles, nor deaths of men before, during and after these upcoming elections. Therefore, the NGO:

1- Requests that the political parties, without distinction, reconnect with sincere political dialogue and urgently call on their activists and sympathizers to exercise more restraint, with a view to guaranteeing a peaceful socio-political and electoral environment;

2- Also asks the groups of religious leaders and customary leaders of our country, those who are considered as moral guarantors of our society at the spiritual and cultural level, to break the silence, even the total indifference that they seem to observe, to give voice in the face of the imminent danger of social degradation;

3- Calls strongly on the government authorities, guarantors of stability and social cohesion, but also the political parties of the opposition, all of them who claim to work for the well-being of the people, to each play their role so that this people no longer be constantly terrorized, persecuted, injured and killed;

4- Expresses the deep wish to see the Chancelleries accredited in Côte d’Ivoire stop remaining apathetic and indifferent to the situation prevailing in the country, but to see them use, here and now, their voice and their mediation, in respect to their influence, to preserve social harmony and save lives;

5- Recommends to Ivorian youth to avoid not only political instrumentalization in any form whatsoever, but also the search for easy, ephemeral and dishonorable gain, especially when this is sponsored to sow violence and death in the country ;

6- Invites all cyber-activists and other influencers on social networks to set themselves up as powerful relays of speeches of peace, unity and solidarity, and as denouncers of hateful words and acts.

For the NGO ICEA-CI, with the strength of some and the genius of others, in a bold desire to build a country of peace and prosperity based on the values ​​of unity and unity, with the contribution of all, another Ivory Coast is possible. That of a country of true democracy with clean elections, without violence, a nation in which the process of choosing and legitimizing leaders can no longer generate violence.

Done in Abidjan on December 18, 2022

Bamba Massany, President of the NGO ICEA-CI

Ivory Coast: NGO ICEA-CI calls for elections without violence