Items of Interest: June 25

Political reconciliation talks in Côte d’Ivoire and inclusive political dialogue in Mali are actions from June 25 that may emerge to become significant factors impacting geomarket developments in Africa.

Côte d’Ivoire: Secretary General Assoa Adou of the opposition Ivoirian Popular Front party clarified that its outreach to the ruling Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace was to pursue national reconciliation.

Significance: The Ivoirian Popular Front (FPI) party ruled the Ivoirian government from 2000 until the capture by combined Ivoirian rebel and French military forces of then-President Laurent Gbagbo in 2011. Gbagbo’s acquittal by the International Criminal Court on charges related to war crimes has raised the former ruling party’s political prominence and made it the subject of a potential political alliance with rival opposition party the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) in a bid to unseat the ruling Alassane Ouattara-led Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) in a presidential election set for October 2020. That the former and current ruling parties are talking with each other, at least preliminarily, is a notable step toward tensions-reducing political inclusivity, though reconciliation is still far from being grasped. Constructive political talks between the Gbagbo-led FPI and the Alassane Ouattara-led RHDP would, however, be gravely concerning to the Henri Konan Bédié-led PDCI and undermine the latter’s objective in restoring his party in power, with the net result being no macro-level improvement in conciliatory relations among Côte d’Ivoire’s three principal political parties.

Mali: President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta inaugurated the government’s process of inclusive political dialogue. 

Significance: Domestic and foreign stakeholders have criticized the performance and funding of Malian, regional, and United Nations military operations in stabilizing the country. In addition to jihadist attacks by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its Malian proxies, the country has also experienced significant indigenous settler-herder violence. The idea of inclusive political dialogue is to provide an ongoing framework for the recently reshuffled Malian government to respond to demands for representative governance and solve for insecurity in especially conflict-prone central and northern regions of the country. Civil and military relations in Mali have not enjoyed the greatest of mutual confidence lately, with each stakeholder separately on the defensive. Introducing inclusive dialogue now provides a preliminary means to evaluate the effectiveness of the Keïta administration and his Boubou Cissé-led government. 

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