The military and political crisis in Cote d’Ivoire is an illustration of the assertion that resistance is a concept embodying a multitude of meanings. The Ivorian parties have framed their civil war as the result of a conflict between several meanings of resistance. The presidential party claims to lead a nationalist resistance against neocolonial forces associated with the French government, as well as a Christian resistance against Islamic terrorism. The armed rebellion and the traditional political opposition contend that their actions are justified by a duty of resistance against ethnic and religious sectarianism, as well as Mr. Gbagbo’s despotic and unprincipled style of government.

This article provides a critical analysis of current international efforts to resolve the Ivorian conflict, and particularly of the roadmap to peace adopted at Linas- Marcoussis, France, and later endorsed by the United Nations and other international actors as the appropriate framework for a peaceful and durable solution to the crisis. By presenting a set of principles and operational measures for an alternative conflict resolution strategy this article is focused on the creation of sustainable democratic institutions and their legitimization through a truly democratic process for writing and adopting a new Ivorian constitution. Whether or not in a post-9/11 world, conflicts such as those in the Cote d’Ivoire continue to be ignominiously ignored and marginalized by the United States is yet to be seen, but what this article proves is a need to establish a viable solution of lasting-peace for the region.

Author Bio(s)

Essoh J.M.C. Essis, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution and Public Policy in the Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at Nova Southeastern University. He was a Senior Civil Service Officer (Administrateur civil) in the Cote d’Ivoire Ministry of Interior for 13 years and former Director of its Department of Local Governments Affairs (from February 2000 to August 2002,) he was also a member of the “Commission Consultative Constitutionnelle et Electorale” which drafted the Ivorian Constitution of August 2000. He can be reached at essis@nsu.nova.edu.


civil war, Côte d’Ivoire, Linas-Marcoussis (France), meanings of resistance, new conflict resolution, peacebuilding strategy, United Nations

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