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Is Côte d'Ivoire a Test Case for R2P? Democratization as Fulfilment of the International Community's Responsibility to Prevent

  • Foluke Ipinyomi
Abstract

After the election deadlock in Côte d'Ivoire, the international community recognized Ouattara as the winner of the elections, while the incumbent president, Gbagbo, also claimed victory. When they were both sworn in, violence ensued. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stated that the international community had a responsibility to protect citizens. Thereafter, the UN, African Union and ECOWAS attempted to quell the violence through mediation and the threat of force. Gbagbo was eventually ousted by Ouattara's forces. This article examines the international community's responsibility to prevent and its actions in that regard. If democratization is a means to prevent mass atrocities, what was the nature of the international community's responsibility to Ivoirians to prevent conflict? What should be the international community's reaction to internal agitations for democracy? Some answers to these questions lie in the framework for the international community's responsibility to prevent the four crimes related to R2P.

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9 Stride and Ifeka, id at 23 and 129.

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11 Onwubiko, id at 45 and 140; Stride and Ifeka, id at 80.

12 Onwubiko, id at 45, 65–66 and 101; Stride and Ifeka, id at 54, 62, 76, 124 and 318.

13 Onwubiko, id at 194; Stride and Ifeka, id at 55 and 302–03.

14 Onwubiko, id at 66 and 102; Davidson and Buah A History of West Africa, above at note 5 at 80 and 184; Stride and Ifeka, id at 44.

15 Onwubiko, id at 22, 46, 66–67, 85–86, 100, 141, 206 and 218; Davidson and Buah, id at 43; Stride and Ifeka, id at 62, 77 and 125.

16 Stride and Ifeka, id at 41 and 303.

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18 Onwubiko, id at 4 and 224. The Portuguese were not the first Europeans to have visited West Africa though; Greeks were said to have visited between 200 and 400 AD: Stride and Ifeka, id at 173–84; Davidson and Buah, id at 191.

19 Onwubiko, id at 4 and 232; Stride and Ifeka, id at 185.

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21 Onwubiko, id at 100, 140 and 205.

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27 Ibid; Webster, Boahen et al The Revolutionary Years, above at note 23 at 92.

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29 Ibid.

30 Ibid.

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32 Ibid; Crowder, MWest Africa Under Colonial Rule (1968, Northwestern University Press) at 111.

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34 Id at 211.

35 Id at 214; Crowder West Africa Under Colonial Rule, above at note 32 at 167.

36 Webster, Boahen et al, id at 215; Crowder, id at 128.

37 Webster, Boahen et al, ibid.

38 Ibid.

39 Ibid.

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80 ECOWAS “Press statement by the president”, above at note 1.

81 UN Charter, art 2(4): “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” UN Charter, art 33(1): “The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.” Dixon, MTextbook on International Law (2007, Oxford University Press) at 275.

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98 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969), art 3.

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106 Id at 178–79.

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113 Id at 617–18; Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, art 53.

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115 International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 1966, art 6.

116 Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 1984, art 1.

117 ICCPR, art 9.

118 id, art 8; Slavery Convention 1926 (approved by UN General Assembly res 794 (VIII) of 23 October 1953), art 1.

119 ICCPR, art 12.

120 The International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966 protects the right to food, clothing and housing (art 11) and the right to health (art 12).

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131 ICISS The Responsibility to Protect, above at note 88 at 19, paras 3.3 and 3.4.

132 Id at 19, para 3.5.

133 UN General Assembly res 60/251, para 5(e).

134 Toungara “Ethnicity and political crisis”, above at note 63 at 68.

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150 Ayelazuno, id at 46–47; ICG, id at 1 and 8.

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157 Cooke “The election crisis”, above at note 3 at 11.

158 IRIN Africa “Côte d'Ivoire - Liberia: Planning for the refugee influx” (14 January 2011), available at: <http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportID=91636> (last accessed 2 August 2011).

159 Chirot “The debacle”, above at note 6 at 68.

160 See above at note 77.

161 Draman, RPreventing conflicts in Africa: Reality, empty dream or just difficult?” (2001) 4/2Civil Wars 121 at 128–29.

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