In This Review

Cote d'Ivoire: Can the Ouagadougou Agreement Bring Peace?
Cote d'Ivoire: Can the Ouagadougou Agreement Bring Peace?
By International Crisis Group
International Crisis Group, 2007, 38 pp.

The ethno-regional conflict that has divided Côte d'Ivoire since 2002 has ruined what was long one of the most prosperous and stable countries in West Africa. The current disaster has been largely ignored by English-speaking observers, other than the occasional journalistic description. There remains no decent academic analysis of the conflict. The International Crisis Group's coverage, with English summaries of longer French reports, remains the best available analysis. A report published this June continues the excellent reporting, combining the immediacy of journalism with a deeper understanding of the conflict's underlying dynamics. It details how the long-standing stalemate between the north and the south was ended by the Ouagadougou agreement, which was signed in March 2007 and brokered by Burkina Faso. That agreement brings about reunification, with the southern president, Laurent Gbagbo, sharing power with a northern leader of the rebellion and calls for elections and the restructuring of the national army. The ICG notes that this agreement is expedient for both sides but is properly skeptical that it will bring about lasting peace, since it largely fails to address the underlying political causes of the conflict.