Linas-Marcoussis Agreement: Côte d'Ivoire

Date: 23 January 2003

1. At the invitation of the President of the French Republic, a Round Table of the Ivorian political forces met in Linas-Marcoussis from 15 to 23 January 2003. It brought together the following parties: FPI, MFA, MJP, MPCI, MPIGO, PDCI-RDA, PIT, RDR, UDCY and UDPCI. The conference was chaired by Mr. Pierre MAZEAUD, assisted by Judge Keba Mbaye, former Prime Minister Seydou Diarra and facilitators appointed by the UN, the African Union and ECOWAS.

Each delegation gave its analysis of the situation in Côte d'lvoire and made proposals aimed at restoring confidence and overcoming the crisis. The vision shown by delegations enabled the Round Table to bring the positions together and arrive at the consensus described below, in which all elements principles and annexes have the same status:

2. The Round Table welcomes the cease-fire made possible and guaranteed by the deployment of ECOWAS forces supported by French forces, and demands strict compliance with it. The Round Table calls on all parties immediately to put a stop to all exactions and consecrate the peace. It calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners.

3. The Round Table reiterates the need to maintain the territorial integrity of Côte d'lvoire and respect for its institutions and to restore the authority of the State. It recalls its commitment to the principle of democratic accession to and exercise of power. To this end it agrees as follows:

a) A Government of National Reconciliation will be set up immediately after the conclusion of the Paris Conference to ensure a return to peace and stability. It will be charged with strengthening the independence of the justice system, restoring the administration and public services and rebuilding the country. It will implement the appended Round Table program which includes, in particular, provisions in the constitutional, legislative and regulatory spheres.

b) It will prepare an electoral timetable with a view to holding credible and transparent elections and set dates for them.

c) The Government of National Reconciliation will be led by a consensus Prime Minister who will remain in office until the next Presidential election, in which he will not be able to stand as a candidate.

d) This government will be made up of representatives appointed by each of the Ivorian delegations taking part in the Round Table. In assigning Ministries a balance will be struck among the parties throughout the term of office of the government.

e) To discharge its duties the government will have executive powers in accordance with the delegation of authority provided for in the Constitution. The political parties represented in the National Assembly which took part in the Round Table undertake to guarantee the support of their Members of Parliament for the implementation of the government's programme.

f) The Government of National Reconciliation will, immediately upon taking office, attend

to rebuilding an army committed to the values of integrity and republican morality. The government will restructure the defence and security forces and may, for this purpose, receive the counsel of outside advisers and in particular the assistance offered by France.

g) In order to contribute to restoring security of persons and property throughout the national territory, the Government of National Reconciliation will organise the regrouping and subsequent disarming of all forces. It will ensure that no mercenaries remain within the country's borders.

h) The Government of National Reconciliation will seek the help of ECOWAS, France and the United Nations to arrange for their forces to guarantee these operations.

i) The Government of National Reconciliation will take the necessary steps to ensure release and amnesty for all military personnel being held on charges of threatening State security and will extend this measure to soldiers living in exile.

4. The Round Table decides to set up a committee to monitor implementation of the Paris Agreements on Côte d'lvoire in charge of ensuring compliance with commitments made. This committee will report to national, regional and international authorities all cases of obstruction of the Agreements and failure to apply them, to ensure that appropriate remedies are implemented.

The Round Table recommends to the Conference of Heads of State that the monitoring committee be set up in Abidjan and made up of representatives of the countries and organizations called on to guarantee implementation of the Paris Agreements, and in particular:

  • the representative of the European Union,
  • the representative of the Commission of the African Union,
  • the representative of the Executive Secretariat of ECOWAS,
  • the Special Representative of the Secretary-General who will co-ordinate UN bodies,
  • the representative of the International Francophone Organization,
  • the representatives of the IMF and the World Bank,
  • a representative of the G8 countries,
  • the representative of France.

5. The Round Table calls on the French government, ECOWAS and the international community to provide for the security of the persons who took part in it and if need be for that of the members of the Government of National Reconciliation until such time as the latter is in a position to fully perform this task.

6. The Round Table pays tribute to the mediation provided by ECOWAS and to the endeavours of the African Union and the UN, and thanks France for its role in organizing this meeting and achieving this consensus.

Done at Linas-Marcoussis, 23 January 2003

FOR THE FPI
Pascal AFFI N'GUESSAN

FOR THE MFA
Innocent KOBENA ANAKY

FOR THE MJP
Gaspard DELI

FOR THE MPCI
Guillaume SORO

FOR THE MPIGO
Felix DOH

FOR THE PDCI-RDA
Henri KONAN BEDIE

FOR THE PIT
Francis WODIE

FOR THE RDR
Alassane Dramane OUATTARA

FOR THE UDCY
Theodore MEL EG

FOR THE UDPCI
Paul AKOTO YAO

THE CHAIRMAN
Pierre MAZEAUD

Annex Programme of the Government of National Reconciliation

I- Citizenship, identity, status of foreign nationals

1. The Round Table considers that Law 61-415 of 14 December 1961 on Ivorian citizenship, as amended by Law 72-852 of 21 December 1972, which is based on complementarity between jus sanguinis and jus soli and makes broad provision for naturalization by certificate issued by the public authorities, is a generous and well-drafted text.

The Round Table considers on the other hand that there are many difficulties in implementing the law, as a result either of lack of awareness among populations or of administration and police and security force practices which disregard the law and human rights.

The Round Table has observed a degree of legal difficulty in applying Articles 6 and 7 of the Citizenship Code. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that in practice the certificate of citizenship is valid for three months only and that the person holding it must prove his citizenship each time it is renewed by producing a number of documents. However, the Code has heretofore been applied.

Therefore the Government of National Reconciliation will:

a. immediately promote increased recourse to existing naturalization procedures, based on better information and possibly co-operation projects implemented with the support of international development partners;

b. submit, on an exceptional basis and within six months, a naturalization bill aimed at settling in a simple and accessible manner the cases of those persons deemed ineligible and considered to be in the country illegally (in particular cases concerning persons formerly covered by Articles 17 to 23 of Law 61-415 as repealed by Law 72-852 and persons residing in Côte d'lvoire prior to 7 August 1960 who did not exercise their option within the prescribed deadline), and supplement the existing text by including in new Article 12 foreign men married to Ivorian women.

2. To cope with the uncertainty and slow pace of the identification process and with the mistakes and abuses to which security checks can give rise, the Government of National Reconciliation will take further action with respect to registration and identification of individuals, in particular:

a. Suspension of the current identification process pending decrees implementing the Law and timely establishment of a National Identification Commission, headed by a judge and made up of representatives of the political parties, to be charged with supervising and overseeing the National Identification Office.

b. Ensuring strict consistency of the Law on Identification with the Citizenship Code regarding proof of citizenship.

3. The Round Table finds that the foreign nationals residing in large numbers in Côte d'lvoire have made a major contribution to national wealth and helped confer on Côte d'lvoire its special position and responsibility within the sub-region, which has also benefited the countries of origin of these foreign nationals, and considers that the petty annoyances perpetrated by the administration and the police and security forces, which often disregard the law and human rights and which often affect foreign nationals, can be caused by wilful misapplication of identification provisions.

a. The Government of National Reconciliation will therefore immediately eliminate the residence permit requirement under Article 8 paragraph 2 of Law 2002-03 of 3 January 2002 for nationals of ECOWAS countries and will carry out the immigration inspection needed by using means of identification not subject to fraudulent misuse.

b. Moreover the Government of National Reconciliation will consider introducing legislative and regulatory provisions to improve the status of foreign nationals and protect their property and persons.

c. The Round Table also calls on all ECOWAS Member States to ratify, in a timely manner, the existing protocols concerning free circulation of persons and goods, to practice strengthened co-operation in controlling migratory flows, to respect the fundamental rights of immigrants and to diversify areas of development. These actions can be implemented with the support of international development partners.

II- Electoral system

1. The Round Table considers that Law 2000-514 of 1 August 2000 on the Election Code raises no difficulties and reflects efforts to improve the text of the laws and that Law 2001-634 of 9 January 2001 creating the Independent Electoral Commission constitutes significant progress in ensuring the organization of transparent elections.

2. The Government of National Reconciliation:

a. will ensure impartiality of the measures taken to identify voters and draw up voter lists;

b. will submit several amendments to Law 2001-634 aimed at achieving better representation of the parties taking part in the Round Table within the central committee of the Independent Electoral Commission, including its Officers;

c. will submit, within 6 months, a bill relating to the status of the opposition and to the public funding of political parties and election campaigns;

d. will submit within one year a bill on illicit personal enrichment and will organize effective inspection of the personal asset disclosures filed by those elected;

e. take all appropriate measures to ensure the independence of the justice system and the impartiality of the media with respect to both election disputes and election propaganda.

III- Eligibility to the Presidency of the Republic

1. The Round Table considers that Article 35 of the Constitution on the Election of the President of the Republic must avoid referring to concepts without legal content or deriving from legislation. The Government of National Reconciliation will therefore propose that the conditions governing eligibility to the Presidency of the Republic be laid down as follows:

"The President of the Republic is elected by universal suffrage to a five year term of office. He can be re-elected only once. The candidate must be in possession of his civil and political rights and be at least thirty-five years of age. He must have only Ivorian citizenship and have a father or a mother born Ivorian."

2. The Citizenship Code will be amended by adding to the conditions under which Ivorian citizenship can be revoked, under Article 53, the following words: "holding elective office abroad or serving as a member of a foreign government".

3. The President of the Republic shall publish a report on his state of health once a year.

IV- Land tenure regime

1. The Round Table considers that Law 98-750 of 23 December 1998 on Rural Land Tenure, adopted unanimously by the National Assembly, constitutes a reference in a field that is legally difficult and economically crucial.

2. Nevertheless the Government of National Reconciliation:

a. will support the progressive implementation of this regime by carrying out a campaign to explain it to rural populations in such a way as to work toward true security of tenure.

b. will submit an amendment to better protect acquired rights under Article 26 of the law on heirs of landowners holding rights predating the enactment of the law but not fulfilling the conditions of ownership set out in Article 1.

V- Media

1. The Round Table condemns the incitement to hatred and xenophobia propagated by certain media.

2. The Government of National Reconciliation will within one year overhaul the general regime governing the press so as to strengthen the role of the regulatory authorities, guarantee neutrality and impartiality of the State broadcasters and foster the financial independence of the media. These measures may receive the support of international development partners.

3. The Government of National Reconciliation will immediately restore free broadcasting of the international radio and television media.

VI- Rights and freedoms of the individual

1. The Government of National Reconciliation will immediately set up a National Human Rights Commission to ensure protection of rights and freedoms in Côte d'lvoire. The Commission will be made up of delegates of all Round Table parties and be chaired by a person accepted by all.

2. The Government of National Reconciliation will call for the establishment of an international board of enquiry to investigate and establish the facts throughout the national territory in order to identify cases of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law since 19 September 2002.

3. Based on the report by the international board of enquiry, the Government of National Reconciliation will determine which cases should be brought to justice in order to put an end to impunity. The Round Table particularly condemns the actions of the "death squads" and those giving them orders as well as those carrying out summary executions throughout the country, and considers that those guilty of and those aiding and abetting these acts must be brought to justice before an international criminal jurisdiction.

4. The Government of National Reconciliation will endeavour to facilitate humanitarian operations to aid the victims of the conflict throughout the country. Based on the report of the National Human Rights Commission, it will take steps to compensate and rehabilitate victims.

VII Regrouping, disarming and demobilizing

1. Immediately after assuming office, the Government of National Reconciliation will undertake the process of concomitant regrouping of the forces on the ground, under the supervision of ECOWAS and French forces.

2. In a second phase it will set out the measures to be taken with respect to disarming and demobilizing these forces, also under ECOWAS and French force supervision.

3. All recruits enlisted after 19 September will be immediately demobilized.

4. The Government of National Reconciliation shall ensure the social reintegration of military personnel of every origin with the help of Disarmament Demobilization Repatriation Resettlement - Reintegration (DDRRR) type programmes which can be implemented with the support of international development partners.

5. The Government of National Reconciliation will take the necessary steps to ensure the release and amnesty of all military personnel detained on charges of threatening State security and will extend the benefit of these measures to soldiers living in exile. The amnesty law will under no circumstances mean that those having committed serious economic violations and serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law will go unpunished.

6. The Government of National Reconciliation will carry out an audit of its armed forces and determine, in a difficult economic context, the level of sacrifice which it can accept in order to meet its obligations with respect to national defence. It will on that basis restructure the armed forces and request, for this purpose, outside assistance.

VIII- Economic recovery and the need for social cohesion

1. The Government of National Reconciliation will restore free circulation of persons and goods throughout the national territory and facilitate the resumption of educational, administrative, economic and social activity.

2. It will prepare, in a timely fashion, a plan for infrastructure reconstruction and development, national economic recovery and strengthening of social cohesion.

3. The Round Table recommends to international institutions and international development partners that they provide support for the process of rebuilding Côte d'lvoire.

IX Implementation

The Government of National Reconciliation will ensure that the constitutional, legislative and regulatory reforms arising from the decisions it is required to make are introduced without delay.


Sources: http://www.acig.org, http://www.irinnews.org and http://news.bbc.co.uk, http://www.abidjan.net

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