With South Africa as a broker, the government and rebels entered a ceasefire in April 2005. This was expected to be more successful than the ceasefire agreed two years earlier in France. The agreement included a provision for holding presidential elections at a later date in the same year. In previous months, the situation was betrayed and it was feared that the conflict would develop into actual war. In October, however, President Gbagbo filed the election plans. He decided that the law allowed him to remain in power. The UN decided to extend its presence in the country.
In December, the brokers appointed economist Charles Konan Banny as prime minister. It was believed to be able to disarm the militia and print elections. But in January 2006, supporters of Gbagbo went on the streets to protest against what they considered the UN’s excessive intervention in the country’s internal affairs. In October 2006, the United Nations decided to hold elections for October the following year. In July 2007, the UN Security Council extended the UN’s mandate for a further 6 months. According to Countryaah, UN spokesmen absolutely needed the mission to monitor the peace process and lead the country to “the holding of free and transparent elections”.
In March 2007, a new peace agreement was signed and Gbagbo expressed his desire for Guillaume Soro as new prime minister. In April 2007, Soro was appointed as the country’s prime minister. Prior to his appointment, he had chaired the Ivory Coast Patriotic Movement (MPCI) and since then leader of the New Forces Rebellion (Forces Nouvelles de Côte d’Ivoire). In June, he was subjected to an attempted assault when rockets were fired at his aircraft, but he escaped unscathed. He and the president attended a symbolic ceremony in July, where weapons used in the Civil War were burnt.
In August 2008, Gbagbo was nominated as his party’s candidate for the November presidential election. However, this was postponed to 2009 and since 2010 due to the tense security and political situation in the country. Finally, on 31 October 2010, the first round of elections, won by Gbagbo with 38% of the vote, wasAlassane Ouattara in second place with 32% of the vote. Second elections were held on November 28. On December 2, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) released a preliminary result giving Ouattara 54.1% of the vote while Gbabgo gained 45.9%. This result was immediately contradicted by the Constitutional Council, which formally had the final say in the compilation of the result. The council discarded ½ million votes from Ouattara dominated areas and declared Gbabgo the winner with 51.45% of the vote. Both candidates were now inducted as presidents.
Gbabgo’s attempt to cling to power triggered condemnation by the African Union (AU), the West African Common Market (ECOWAS), the UN, the EU and the US. On December 18, Gbabgo tried to throw the UN peacekeeping forces out of the country, but the Security Council instead extended the force’s mandate until June 30, 2011. The AU tried to mediate in the conflict and sent South Africa’s former President Thabo Mbeki as mediator, but in vain.
Already from the beginning of December, there was a clash between supporters of Ouattara and Gbabgo’s security forces, and the violence escalated rapidly on both sides. By March 2011, some 450,000 residents had fled the country, several hundred killed and several thousands injured. That same month, Ouattara forces launched an armed offensive against Gbabgo and quickly gained control of almost the entire country. On April 11, Gbabgo was captured by French special forces. From then on, Ouattara was the country’s only president. Gbabgo was put on trial for financial crimes, and in August the government requested the ICC to launch an investigation into Gbabgo’s war crimes. In October, the ICC issued an arrest warrant on Gbabgo and in November he was extradited to prosecution in The Hague.
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Ouattara’s victory was expensive. The war between the two candidates had cost over 3,000 lives and caused significant devastation. At the same time, the country was politically deeply divided. In September, therefore, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up following the South African model. The Commission was led by former Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny and consisted of religious and regional leaders. However, Banny stressed that the commission did not have the power to issue amnesty or forgive.