Conflict diamonds and peace process in Côte d’Ivoire

Release date: 2008-05

Côte d’Ivoire is the only country, which is currently under embargo by the United Nations for the export of conflict diamonds since December 2005. The conflict and years of ‘no war, no peace’ have been profitable for both the military and the Forces Nouvelles (FN) rebels, thereby paralyzing the peace process. Along with other natural resources (e.g. cocoa, timber, cotton, oil, gold), diamonds contributed to the financing of the military as well as the FN rebels in the North. However, since the Ouagadougou Political Accord (OPA) signed in March 2007 between the rebel leader Guillaume Soro and the Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, modest progress can be noticed in the main areas of the agreement: the identification of the population, the preparation of the first round of presidential elections (now announced for 30 November 2008), the restoration of state authority and unity of the country, and the reform of the army, including the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DD&R) process.