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IVORIAN CRISIS: WACSOF CALLS ON
THE IVORIAN POLITICAL CLASS TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE AND CALLS ON ECOWAS TO WORK MORE COURAGEOUSLY IN ENSURING CONCILIATION AMONGST ALL PARTIES INVOLVED

ABUJA, 23rd OCTOBER 2020

1. The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) observes with worry, the state of deterioration of the socio-political situation in COTE D’IVOIRE, especially in this electoral period. The following points below have formed a cause for worry:
a. The loss of human lives to electoral violence;
b. The upsurge of violence following the announcement of the outgoing president, His Excellency M. Alassane Dramane Ouattara, to ask for a third mandate, made theoretically possible as a result of the modification of the country’s constitution;
c. The persistence of areas of divergence related to the electoral process, notably, the complaint of the Democratic Party of COTE D’IVOIRE (Parti démocratique de la Cote d'Ivoire (PDCI)) and Ivorian Popular Front (the Front Populaire Ivoirien (FPI)) concerning the subject of the weak representation of political parties of the opposition in the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the absence of a dialogue framework.
d. The upsurge of xenophobic speeches and tribalistic discourse.

A CALL TO RESPONSIBILITY OF POLITICAL ACTORS
2. WACSOF wishes to remind political actors in COTE D’IVOIRE that the country has recently passed through terrible electoral violence which even led to the death of thousands and collateral damages in the ECOWAS region.
3. WACSOF calls political actors and all stakeholders to more responsibility, honesty and political maturity and to stop putting the lives of poor citizens in danger. WACSOF wishes to remind them that they have a responsibility in front of history.
4. WACSOF demands that those in power and the opposition start a honest dialogue in order to preserve peace for the wellbeing of citizens who they want to serve and to also proceed to put in place, the recommendations of ECOWAS, to ensure an election that is democratic, credible, transparent and 

inclusive, respects human rights and takes into account preventive measures related to the COVID19 pandemic.
5. WACSOF calls on authorities to refer to and to apply the protocols and charters that the country ratified, notably the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).
6. WACSOF calls on Ivorian authorities to reconsider their decision in withdrawing from “the declaration of competence provided for in the protocol relating to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights”. This would have served as a useful tool used for citizens and Civil Society Organizations during critical; situations such as that which the citizens of COTE D’IVOIRE face at the moment.

A CALL TO ECOWAS
7. WACSOF supports the different missions of preventive diplomacy led by ECOWAS and encourages ECOWAS to continue to support COTE D’IVOIRE;
8. In the aim of ensuring conflict prevention, WACSOF calls on ECOWAS to take courageous steps in identifying actors who are hindering the putting into action of peaceful recommendations and calls for possible sanctions to be meted out;
9. WACSOF urges ECOWAS to be more courageous in providing rigorous and impartial supervision of constitutional manipulations which are sources of conflicts in the region.

A CALL TO CIVIL SOCIETY AND TO CITIZENS
10. WACSOF calls on Ivorian, regional and continental civil society, to work in a peaceful spirit and to support all actions in this direction.
11. WACSOF is available to collaborate with ECOWAS and all stakeholders for peace and the prevention of any conflict in COTE D’IVOIRE, in the region and on the continent.

Contacts : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +234 813 523 3933

ABOUT WACSOF (WEST AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM)

Created in 2003, WACSOF (West African Civil Society Forum) is the umbrella civil society organization in West Africa. WACSOF is the institutionalized channel of dialogue between civil society organizations and ECOWAS. With a national platform in each ECOWAS country and 12 thematic areas, WACSOF empowers, mobilizes and integrates civil society for a prosperous, stable and peaceful Africa. For institutional partners, WACSOF is an excellent channel, a one-stop-shop for systematic engagement of civil society organizations in meaningful ways, for impactful results. www.Wacsof-Foscao.Org

 

CRISE IVOIRIENNE : LE FOSCAO INVITE
LA CLASSE POLITIQUE IVOIRIENNE À PLUS DE RESPONSABILITÉ ET EN APPELLE À LA CEDEAO À DAVANTAGE DE COURAGE POUR CONCILIER LES PARTIES

ABUJA, 23 OCTOBRE 2020
1. Le Forum de la société civile de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (FOSCAO) observe avec inquiétude la détérioration de la situation socio-politique en COTE D’IVOIRE, surtout en cette période électorale. Les éléments d’inquiétudes incluent les points suivants :
a. La perte de vies humaines due- à des violences électorales;
b. La recrudescence des violences suite à l’annonce du président sortant,Son Excellence M. Alassane Dramane Ouattara de briguer un troisième mandat, rendu théoriquement possible suite la modification de la constitution du pays ;
c. La persistance de points de divergence relatifs au processus électoral, notamment, la plainte du Parti démocratique de la Cote d'Ivoire (PDCI) et du Front Populaire Ivoirien (FPI) au sujet de la faible représentation des partis politiques de l'opposition au sein de la Commission Électorale Indépendante (C.E.I.), et l’absence d’un cadre de dialogue,
d. La recrudescence de discours de xénophobie et à caractère tribale.

UN APPEL À LA RESPONSABILITÉ DES ACTEURS POLITIQUES
2. Le FOSCAO souhaite rappeler aux acteurs politiques de la COTE D’IVOIRE que le pays a déjà traversé de regrettables événements de violences électorales ayant même conduit à de milliers de morts et de dommages collatéraux dans la région de la CEDEAO;
3. Le FOSCAO exhorte les acteurs politiques et toutes les parties prenantes à plus de responsabilité, d’honnêteté et de maturité politique et à arrêter de mette en danger la vie de pauvres citoyens. Le FOSCAO leur rappelle qu’ils ont une responsabilité devant l’histoire.
4. Le FOSCAO demande au pouvoir et à l’opposition d’ouvrir un vrai dialogue honnête pour préserver la paix pour le bien des citoyens qu’ils veulent servir et de procéder à la mise en œuvre des recommandations de la CEDEAO, pour des élections démocratiques, crédibles, transparentes et inclusives, respectueuses des droits de l'homme, et tenant compte des mesures préventives relatives à la pandémie de Covid-19.

5. Le FOSCAO appelle les autorités, à se référer et à appliquer les protocoles et les chartes que le pays a ratifiés notamment le Protocole de la CEDEAO sur la démocratie et la bonne gouvernance et la Charte Africaine sur la Démocratie, les Élections et la Gouvernance (ACDEG).
6. Le FOSCAO exhorte les autorités ivoiriennes à reconsidérer leurs décisions de se retirer de « la déclaration de compétence prévue au protocole relatif à la Charte africaine des droits de l’homme et des peuples ». Cet outil aurait été un recours utile pour les citoyens et les organisations de la Société Civile durant des situations critiques comme celles que vivent les citoyens de la COTE D’IVOIRE.

UN APPEL À LA CEDEAO
7. Le FOSCAO soutient les différentes missions de diplomatie préventive menées par la CEDEAO et encourage la CEDEAO de continuer d’accompagner la COTE D’IVOIRE ;
8. Dans un objectif de prévention de conflits, Le FOSCAO appelle la CEDEAO à plus de courage en identifiant les acteurs qui entravent la mise en œuvre des recommandations de paix en cours avec des sanctions possibles ;
9. Le FOSCAO exhorte la CEDEAO à plus de courage pour faire un encadrement rigoureux et impartial des manipulations constitutionnelles qui sont sources de conflits dans la région.

UN APPEL À LA SOCIÉTÉ CIVILE ET AUX CITOYENS
10. Le FOSCAO en appelle à la Société Civile aussi bien ivoirienne que régionale et continentale pour qu’elle travaille dans un esprit pacifique et soutiennetoute action allant dans ce sens.
11. Le FOSCAO est disponible à collaborer avec la CEDEAO et toutes les parties prenantes pour la paix et la prévention de tout conflit en COTE D’IVOIRE, dans la région et sur le continent

Contacts :This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +234 813 523 3933

 

À PROPOS DU FOSCAO (FORUM DE LA SOCIÉTÉ CIVILE DE L’AFRIQUE DE L’OUEST)
Créé en 2003, le FOSCAO (FORUM DE LA SOCIÉTÉ CIVILE DE L’AFRIQUE DE L’OUEST) est l'organisme faitier de la société civile en Afrique de l'Ouest. Le FOSCAO est le canal de dialogue institutionnalisé entre les organisations de la société civile et la CEDEAO. Avec une plate-forme nationale dans chaque pays de la CEDEAO et 12 domaines thématiques, le FOSCAO mobilise et intègre la société civile pour une Afrique prospère, stable et en paix. Pour les partenaires institutionnels, Le FOSCAO est un excellent canal, un guichet unique pour un engagement systématique des organisations de la société civile de manière significative, pour des résultats percutants. www.Wacsof-Foscao.Org

 

WACSOF STRONGLY CONDEMNS THE KILLING OF
PEACEFUL PROTESTERS IN NIGERIA

ABUJA, 21st OCTOBER 2020

1. The West African Civil Society Forum WACSOF is observing with great dismay the use of lethal force by law enforcement agents on #ENDSARS peaceful protesters in Lagos, Nigeria, on 20th of October 2020.
2. The Nigerian constitution has embedded in it the principles that guarantee the fundamental human rights of all its citizens to life. This has been obviously violated.
3. WACSOF strongly condemns the brutal, despicable killing of young and peaceful #EndSARS protesters by armed security officials at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos
4. WACSOF is concerned that many armed thugs have been mobilised to disturb and attack peaceful protesters without the Police or security officials intervening to protect the citizens
5. WACSOF is calling on the Nigerian government to:
a. Uphold the right of citizens as it is their constitutional right to protest peacefully.
b. Respect the ECOWAS protocol on Democracy and Good Governance which stipulates that “The use of arms to disperse non-violent meetings or demonstrations shall be forbidden.”
c. To thoroughly investigate, determine responsibility and bring to justice those responsible for the loss of lives at the protest grounds
d. To positively dialog with the youths and provide lasting and satisfying solutions.
e. To involve Civil Society organisations to help mediate in the crisis.
f. To protect the citizens and cease any form of harassment or abuse on them.
6. WACSOF is also calling on the ECOWAS to swiftly intervene in the current situation in Nigeria.
7. WACSOF condemns any form of Police brutality and calls on ECOWAS countries and relevant authorities to address this unending menace.

Contacts : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +234 813 523 3933

ABOUT WACSOF (WEST AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM)

Created in 2003, WACSOF (West African Civil Society Forum) is the umbrella civil society organization in West Africa. WACSOF is the institutionalized channel of dialogue between civil society organizations and ECOWAS. With a national platform in each ECOWAS country and 12 thematic areas, WACSOF empowers, mobilizes and integrates civil society for a prosperous, stable and peaceful Africa. For institutional partners, WACSOF is an excellent channel, a one-stop-shop for systematic engagement of civil society organizations in meaningful ways, for impactful results. www.Wacsof-Foscao.Org

 

WACSOF CALLS TO END POLICE BRUTALITY AND CORRUPTION IN WEST AFRICA

 

20TH OCTOBER 2020, ABUJA: The West African Civil Society Forum WACSOF has been observing a dangerous trend in police brutality and corruption in many countries of West Africa. The ongoing protests in Nigeria is symptomatic of this situation. The protests across Nigeria by the youths started on the premise of their grievances against the Country's Special Anti-Robbery Squad known as SARS. The SARS had allegedly become notorious for harassing and killing citizens rather than protecting them. WACSOF is concerned that this situation could escalate as opposition groups against the protests have now emerged leading to a break out of chaos and danger to lives of citizens.

1. WACSOF is calling on the Nigerian government to:
a. Uphold the right of citizens as it is their constitutional right to protest peacefully.
b. To positively dialog with the youths and provide lasting and satisfying solutions.
c. To involve Civil Society groups to help mediate in the crisis.
d. To protect the citizens and cease any form of harassment or abuse on them.
e. Create conducive environment for youth entrepreneurship and job creation.
f. Enforce the fight against corruption and promote fair distribution of wealth.

2. WACSOF supports the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria (NHRC) to set up independent investigation panel on SARS

3. WACSOF is also calling on the youths to:
a. Ensure their protests are completely peaceful.
b. Come up with strategies to effectively engage the government and relevant authorities to listen to them.
c. Propose realistic solutions to the authorities and hold them accountable.
d. Engage with Civil Society Organizations who can help them with effective mediation processes and hence put an end to the crisis soon.

4. WACSOF condemns any form of Police brutality and calls on ECOWAS countries and relevant authorities to address this unending menace.

Contacts : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +234 813 523 3933

ABOUT WACSOF (WEST AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM)
Created in 2003, WACSOF (West African Civil Society Forum) is the umbrella civil society organization in West Africa. WACSOF is the institutionalized channel of dialogue between civil society organizations and ECOWAS. With a national platform in each ECOWAS country and 12 thematic areas, WACSOF empowers, mobilizes and integrates civil society for a prosperous, stable and peaceful Africa. For institutional partners, WACSOF is an excellent channel, a one-stop-shop for systematic engagement of civil society organizations in meaningful ways, for impactful results. www.Wacsof-Foscao.Org

The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) participated in a meeting convened by the ECOWAS themed – Establishment of a Regional Partners/CSOs/NSAs Working Group Against Gender Based Violence held on the 12th of October, 2020.

In the meeting were different organizations, CSOs and WACSOF national platform leaders. It was an opportunity for WACSOF and other CSOs to interact and come up with concrete solutions towards the issue of Gender Based Violence.

WACSOF calls non-state actors to ensure that the fight against Gender Based Violence, goes beyond talk but actionable steps be taken for the benefit of women and girls.

WACSOF acknowledges that this is a work in progress and there still lies ahead many key decisions to be made.

WACSOF was designated at the meeting to give a closing remark on behalf of CSOs, and we hereby use this opportunity to commend the ECOWAS and Partners for this initiative and further reiterate our commitment to continuously provide our support when and where needed.