Socialist International meeting in Côte d'Ivoire supports cease-fire, constitutional order and democracy

18 October 2002

In an urgent meeting in Abidjan on 18 October 2002 the Socialist International Africa Committee examined the grave developments in Côte d'Ivoire following the 19 September attacks on the country's constitutional order.

Delegates at the opening session, which was addressed by Luis Ayala, SI Secretary General, and Ousmane Tanor Dieng, Chair of the SI Africa Committee (Senegal, PS), heard a direct contribution by the President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, concerning the situation in his country.

Participants at the special meeting included representatives from Angola, Benin, Belgium, Cameroon, Cape Verde, France, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Portugal, Sweden, Togo, Tunisia and from Socialist International Women. The delegates heard further about developments from members of the Ivorian government, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the former Minister of Defence, the President of the National Assembly and members of the leadership of the Ivorian Popular Front, FPI.

Meeting as a cease-fire was agreed between representatives of ECOWAS and the aggressors and witness to the acceptance by the government of the agreement reached, the Committee, in its Abidjan Declaration, reaffirmed the International's complete support for President Gbagbo, the democratically elected head of State, reiterating the International's condemnation of the attack on Ivorian democracy, and applauded President Gbagbo's courageous decision to engage in an all-inclusive dialogue as a guarantee of lasting peace. The Committee welcomed the cease-fire agreement, calling for it to be put into operation with the briefest possible delay. The will and capacity of the States in the region to take responsibility for their own destiny, as witnessed by the actions undertaken in the framework of ECOWAS, were also noted with particular satisfaction by the Committee.