The complexities of democracy-building in conflict-affected states: the role of ECOWAS and the African Union in Côte d’Ivoire

This publication is only available in electronic format
17 April 2016
David Kode

The conflict that engulfed Côte d’Ivoire in 2002 divided the country for eight years, with the south controlled by the Government and the north by rebel forces.

The violence and divisions in the country were responsible for the reversal of major economic gains that had been made since independence, and the political uncertainties threatened regional stability.

This Discussion Paper focuses on the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union in resolving conflicts and strengthening democracy in Côte d’Ivoire, particularly in the periods 2002–10 and 2010–13. The work of these two organizations in the Ivorian case reflects discourses on, and the dynamics of, the operations of regional organizations and the international community in addressing conflicts.




1. Conceptual framework: the role of third-party interventions in fragile states and states in conflict in Africa

2. The role of ECOWAS and the AU in mediating the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire: 2002–10

3. The role of ECOWAS and the AU in resolving the Ivorian post-electoral crisis, 2010–13

Conclusions and recommendations

References and further reading

About the author

About International IDEA

About the Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy 

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International IDEA Regional Director for Africa and West Asia, Dr Roba Sharamo, with the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Dr Workneh Gebeyeh, during the signing ceremony in Addis Ababa. Image credit: International IDEA.

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