The following report highlights potential threats to the reconciliation process, COVID-19 update, and the growing illicit drug trafficking in Cote d’Ivoire. The report includes background information to add context to the news items.
Ivoirian Media Speculate About Future of Reconciliation Process
After Richard Adou, the Prosecutor of the Republic, presented the results of a special investigation relating to the 2020 presidential election violence, Ivoirian media outlets began speculating about the future of the national reconciliation process. During a 27 December news conference, the Prosecutor said that the report of the investigation unit that he led pointed to the responsibility of some major political leaders – including Henri Konan Bedie and Pascal Affi N’guessan – in the violence. He threatened to try them before the Ivoirian justice. According to some media commentators, bringing opposition leaders to court at a time of the ongoing political dialogue could jeopardize the peace process in Cote d’Ivoire.
Background: The Government launched a political dialogue with opposition parties on 16 December to discuss various issues of importance for the country’s stability. On 27 December, the various stakeholders submitted the themes they would like to discuss. The Ministry of Interior and Security is expected to propose a new date for the resumption of the discussions.
COVID-19 Update as of 28 November
New cases: 539 positive of 2,606 samples (21 percent)
Total cases: 65,066
New recoveries: 58
Total recoveries: 61,377
New deaths: 0
Total deaths: 707
Active cases: 2,971
New vaccination doses: 73,722
Total vaccination doses: 6,954,352
Source: Ministry of Health
Note: Recently, Ivoirian media have reported growing numbers of new COVID-19 cases in Cote d’Ivoire. Amid threats of the Omicron variant, a ministerial department in the Plateau ward of Abidjan was put in isolation, following rumors that some workers of the-said ministers were affected by the virus.
Investigations Say Cote d’Ivoire Becomes Major Transit Point for Narcotics
According to a media investigation report, the huge quantities of narcotic drugs that the Ivoirian security forces seized revealed that drug trafficking is growing in Cote d’Ivoire, especially in Abidjan. The report said that Cote d’Ivoire has become a major transit point for illicit trafficking in drugs in the sub-region, adding that important quantities of drugs seized came from countries including Paraguay and Brazil. On the night of 24 to 25 February 2021, the National Gendarmerie seized 1,056 kilograms of cocaine in Abidjan, a figure that is 2.5 times higher than the quantity seized in February 2020, according to media reports.
Background: Experts said that Cote d’Ivoire is identified as an easy transit point for drug trafficking. However, the Ivoirian Government put in place a special unit known as the interministerial anti-drug committee (Comite interministeriel de lutte anti-drogue – CILAD, in French) to fight against the phenomenon.