The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (S/2019/280) issued on 29 March 2019.
Local and regional elections held in October were largely peaceful, although electoral violence in some parts of the country resulted in seven deaths and additional injuries. Although no incidents of sexual violence were reported during the October elections, the political climate ahead of the 2020 presidential election remains fragile.
Since the closure of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire in June 2017, pursuant to Security Council resolution 2284 (2016), the monitoring of and reporting on conflict-related sexual violence has been carried out primarily by the national human rights commission, as well as civil society focal points established by the national committee for the fight against conflict-related sexual violence and the Defence and Security Forces, with United Nations support. Despite positive developments in the prevention of and response to sexual violence by the Ivorian Defence and Security Forces, significant challenges remain in the area of accountability for crimes perpetrated during the 2010–2011 post-electoral crisis, including those of sexual violence. Indeed, no cases of sexual violence committed during the crisis period, which are under investigation by the Cellule spé ciale d’enquête et d’instruction, have progressed to trial. Concerns were also raised by the publication, on 8 August 2018, of a presidential decree (ordonnance présidentielle No. 2018-669) granting amnesty “to those individuals prosecuted or convicted for offences related to the post-electoral crisis of 2010–2011”. While the President has publicly stated that perpetrators of serious crimes will not benefit from the amnesty, there is widespread concern about an amnesty for high-level military officers, members of armed groups and political leaders. In addition, while many victims of the post-electoral violence have received general compensation from the Government, no reparations for crimes of sexual violence have been awarded.
The Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure are under review, in order to strengthen accountability for violence against women and children. Moreover, the Ministry of Women, Child Protection and Solidarity has proposed the adoption of a comprehensive law against gender-based violence, including sexual violence. The proposed law aims to establish a holistic and integrated approach to addressing the crime of sexual violence.
I encourage the Government to continue the implementation of action plans to ensure that perpetrators of conflict-related sexual violence are held accountable and survivors receive services, justice and reparations as stipulated in the conditions for delisting from my report, and to further ensure that amnesty provisions do not ap ply in cases of crimes of sexual violence or any other crime against humanity. In the context of the upcoming presidential elections, I urge adequate resources to be dedicated for the implementation of the action plan for the national committee for the fight against conflict-related sexual violence and the development of a national early warning mechanism for conflict-related sexual violence.