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ICG Says Political Maneuverings Threaten Ivory Coast Peace Process

In the aftermath of the December 2007 elections in Kenya, and the more recent controversial March vote in Zimbabwe, the international community will be closely monitoring elections in countries like Ghana and Ivory Coast.

A recent report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) suggests: “If ivory coast is to avoid a return to violence, all actors must focus on creating the political and security conditions necessary for free and fair elections.”

The elections are now set for November 30, 2008.

However, the reports says, competition for the presidency, combined with the proliferation of armed group, for example, present a potentially explosive environment.

Gilles Yabi is senior analyst for the ICG. He told Nightline’s Akwei Thompson some of the anticipated problems leading to the Ivory Coast elections.

“Technical and financial constraints are real, but the government is using them as excuses to justify delays,” said Yabi. “The real problems which threaten the entire peace process come from political maneuverings of Ivorian leaders in the run-up to the elections.”