Côte D’Ivoire: “Adoption of laws on nationality and land tenure, major step towards reconciliation,” says UN expert

GENEVA (29 August 2013) – “Côte d’Ivoire has made a significant step forward in the democratic reconstruction process, the consolidation of the rule of law, and the promotion of national reconciliation,” today said the United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire, Doudou Diène, hailing the adoption on 26 August of the laws on nationality and on land tenure by the National Assembly.

“Political manipulation and ethnicization have made of these issues a time bomb, feeding a culture of violence, eroding values ​​and traditions to live together, and affecting the structure of this ‘region-country’ with a strong and old immigration tradition,” Mr. Diène noted.

“The law on nationality has redressed a recurrent factor of instability and weakening of the Ivorian society by embracing Côte d’Ivoire’s international commitments on statelessness and human rights,” he said. “The law on land tenure promotes intercommunity cohesion and joint economic prosperity by restoring law and justice as fundamental bedrock of the Ivorian society.”

In his previous reports, the Independent Expert has stressed that these two key issues are at the heart of the long crisis that has deeply affected the Ivorian society. He urged the authorities to take appropriate measures to prevent the political manipulation of both issues from worsening current conflicts in the Ivorian society.

“With the adoption of these two laws, a strong dynamic of national reconciliation is underway, reinforced by the release of detainees close to the former regime,” Mr Diène noted. “Such dynamics should be consolidated and made irreversible by the re-launching of the political dialogue and the decisive promotion of an inclusive democratic pluralism,” he stressed while hoping that the Ivorian authorities will take the necessary measures to implement these laws.

“I call on the international community to accompany and to consolidate the process, including by reinforcing its economic and social basis by significant investments in Côte d’Ivoire,” the UN Independent Expert said.

The mandate of the Independent Expert was established by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 for a period of one year to assist the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and relevant actors in the follow-up of the recommendations of the International Commission of Inquiry on Côte d’Ivoire and the Human Rights Council, including the ones addressed to the international community. As Independent Expert, Mr. Doudou Diène acts independently from any Government or organization. He was previously the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in 2002-08.

OHCHR Country page – Cote d’Ivoire: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/CIIndex.aspx

Check the Independent Expert’s latest report on Côte d’Ivoire: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session19/A-HRC-19-72_en.pdf

For additional information and media requests, please contact Johel Dominique (+41 22 928 9398 / jdominique@ohchr.org) or write to EICotedivoire@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unitednationshumanrights
Twitter: http://twitter.com/UNrightswire
Google+ gplus.to/unitednationshumanrights
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/UNOHCHR
Storify: http://storify.com/UNrightswire

Watch “The Riddle”: http://www.youtube.com/embed/sYFNfW1-sM8?rel=0