Addendum of the Consolidated Appeal for Côte d'Ivoire 2005
Due to a significant change in the political situation in Côte d’Ivoire (CDI) during the month of November 2004 it was deemed necessary by the Inter-Agency Humanitarian Coordination Committee (IAHCC) to review the analysis of the situation provided in the Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) for 2005 and prepare a supplementary chapter (addendum) for the Consolidated Appeal (CA) 2005 with supplementary projects where necessary. A full revision of the CA has not been necessary as the humanitarian concerns and priorities for humanitarian response and the sector response plans remain essentially the same.
THE 2005 COMMON HUMANITARIAN ACTION PLAN
Changes in the Context for Côte d’Ivoire
Political and Security Context
The failure to meet important deadlines of the Accra III agreement, led to a steady deterioration of the security and political situation during the month of October. On 4 November, the Ivorian Government launched air-raid attacks on the Forces Nouvelles (FN) military camps in the North of the country which continued for several days and culminated on 6 November with the bombing of a French Licorne military base in Bouake, killing nine French peacekeepers and an American aid worker. The French troops retaliated by destroying the Ivorian air force.
Throughout the attacks on the North the Young Patriots, a pro-government militant youth group based in Abidjan, simultaneously held violent demonstrations in Abidjan, attacking those perceived as acting against the interests of President Gbagbo. The situation in Abidjan remained extremely precarious with ransacking, looting and destroying of homes, schools and businesses thought to be French. A human shield made up of Young Patriots formed around the Presidential Palace to stop the French, accused of wanting to remove President Gbagbo from power. The Ivorian media has reported that over 64 people were killed, while over1,000 were wounded during the demonstrations at the Hotel Ivoire. During the same period, riots broke out at the main prison (MACA) in Abidjan, and several thousand detainees escaped. Over 8,000 expatriates were evacuated from Abidjan and a number of embassies temporarily closed their offices. On 5 November, the UN raised the level of security alert and a large number of UN staff was evacuated to Accra. Since 22 November, most UN humanitarian staff have returned to the country and taken up their duties.
In the North there have been reports of arbitrary arrests, detention and forced disappearances of people accused of supporting President Laurent Gbagbo. Meanwhile, tensions within the FN continue to be apparent, and a communication breakdown within its structure became evident on the 25 November in Man. Authorisation for the landing of a WFP plane was not passed on through the FN, who proceeded to hold the WFP personnel and the humanitarian workers at gunpoint making death threats and anti UN slogans before the situation was resolved.
The UN, African Union (AU) and Francophonie have all engaged in the mediation of the Ivorian conflict and continue to call for the full implementation of the Linas Marcoussis Peace Accords and the Accra III agreement. The African Union appointed the South African President Thabo M’beki to mediate the situation in Côte d’Ivoire. The UN Security Council voted for an arms embargo that too effect on 22 November. Further sanctions will come into effect from 15 December if significant progress is not made in implementing the peace process.
The recent deterioration of the crisis in CDI, including the widespread looting of businesses and departure of thousands of expatriates, will have an enormous repercussion on the economy. The President of the Chamber of Commerce has estimated the losses at a minimum of 14 billion FCFA (28.5 million US$) and stated that 30,000 people will become jobless. He added that 125 of the 500 businesses representing 25% of foreign and domestic investment as well as 50% of CDI income tax have closed shop.
Earlier analysis also pointed towards the detrimental effect that the crisis has had and will continue to have on cotton and coffee production, cotton producers in the North have suffered from limited access to markets and some have not been paid for several seasons. In November, the coffee and cocoa sectors have not only suffered from reduced labour force (migrant workers) but also from lack of access to the ports to export their harvest.
Civil Service and National Capacities
The recent events will have a negative effect on the redeployment initiatives taken by the Government. A large number of teachers from the North who travelled to Abidjan in late October to receive their salaries are now reluctant to return, and the health system has seen key staff, including doctors and registered nurses, flee the north due to the November upheaval. The vulnerable populations in the North will continue to suffer from the lack of access to basic social services due to lack of administration and other staff. Humanitarian strategies will need to take into account a slower return rate of health and education personnel.
The Comite National pour la Redéploiement de l’Administration (CNPRA), which was established to support redeployment efforts, has not resumed its work following the November events.
The Prime Minister’s office established a Humanitarian Committee in late September. However only two meetings have been convened since its inception, which illustrates the ineffectiveness of the Prime Minister’s office in this current political context.