The new Security Council resolution on Ivory Coast – number 1765 – is a complete reversal of fate for those familiar with the current resolutions that were all drafted by France. It’s a kind of diplomatic revolution given the way it was conceived, discussed, drafted and voted. Basically, it reflects the positions of the authorities in Ivory Coast that’s summarized by ThéO this way: “Help us, but don’t try to rule our country.” (My translation).
If you want to have a better understanding of how France manipulated the Security Council during the discussion of the previous resolution 1721, come back later this week to read my interview with John Bolton – US Ambassador to the UN in 2005-2006. As a preview of that exclusive discussion, here’s an excerpt that will shed some light on the title of this post
“In many respect, I think France and the Europeans generally were operating as if Côte d’Ivoire was still a colony. They were administrating the affairs, they were deciding who would be in charge, they were really micro-managing internal political affairs in Côte d’Ivoire. And, once again, I don’t think that, over the long term, contributes to the solution that the parties themselves would have to come to. So, rather than trying to advance the interest of one side or the other, I think the role of the Security Council should be to resolve the dispute; and, in this case, the particular disagreement was over a decision made by the African Union in terms of the extension of the President’s term and what the authority of the Prime Minister would be. And France and Ghana and the Republic of Congo favored a Security Council resolution that was clearly different from what the AU had agreed on. And normally, when the AU agrees on something, they come to the Security Council and say “You simply have to adopt this”. This is a clear difference from what we have done before, which may have been a bad thing to do. I don’t think the African Union is always right. But let’s be clear: this is a departure from practice. And I think Tanzania agreed with that, South Africa – which was not on the Council, but which was coming on in January – agreed with that and I think other members of the Council agreed with that as well… And China and Russia. So, what we wanted was not that constant interference in internal Côte d’Ivoire affairs. I don’t know if China and Russia wanted that too, but what we wanted was to say: “The Security Council’s role should be to facilitate a resolution of the underlying problem, and what we’re doing is re-alocating authority, really, on one side of the problem. That has nothing to do with Forces Nouvelles, with the people controlling the North.” It was all about who was controlling the South. And I just didn’t think it was appropriate for the Security Council.”
La nouvelle résolution onusienne sur la Côte d’Ivoire (1765) mérite le détour. Notamment dans le fait qu’elle constitute une rupture complète avec les résolutions précédentes. Comme le dit si bien ThéO sur son blog:
“En effet, le contexte dans lequel la nouvelle résolution onusienne a été préparée, rédigée et adoptée est radicalement différent de l’ambiance qui a entouré le vote des précédents textes du Conseil de sécurité sur la Côte d’Ivoire. Avant toute chose, deux missions sont venues à Abidjan demander au président de la République et au gouvernement quel rôle l’ONU pouvait jouer avec la nouvelle donne symbolisée par l’accord de Ouagadougou. Gbagbo et Soro, selon des interlocuteurs de premier plan, ont tous les deux eu le même discours devant les émissaires de l’institution dirigée aujourd’hui par Ban Ki Moon : «Aidez-nous, mais ne vous substituez pas à nous».“
Il s’agit donc d’une véritable révolution diplomatique, dont les observateurs de la crise ivoirienne pourront mesurer l’importance dans quelques jours: je publierai en effet l’interview que m’a accordée l’ancien Ambassadeur Américain à l’ONU John Bolton sur les coulisses de la précédente résolution (la 1721). J’en donne un extrait plus haut en anglais, mais les francophones en auront la version intégrale d’ici peu. Les hasards du calendrier onusien font bien les choses pour ce blog 🙂