About the Situation in the Ivory Coast

Joint Statement of Communist Parties of Africa (excerpts)

The Communist Party of Benin,(1) the Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast and the Revolutionary Communist Party of Volta,(2) have met to examine the international political situation, concretely the situation in Iraq and in the Ivory Coast and their repercussions in the region… We are reproducing the statement on the Ivory Coast, since in monarchical Spain there is practically no information about the African continent, and what there is is slanted and distorted.

The Communist Parties of Africa, meeting in Cotonou (Benin), declare that the Ivory Coast has been plunged into a reactionary civil war since September 19, 2002. This is undoubtedly the most serious crisis that the proletariat and peoples of the Ivory Coast, as well as the countries of the subregion, have faced since formal independence in 1960.

[...] The Ivory Coast is a French neo-colony that formally achieved independence in 1960. Like many of the countries colonized by France, colonization was replaced by neo-colonization, a new form of imperialist domination. From 1960 to 1990, this French neo-colony was ruled by the State Party, the PDCI-RDA [Democratic Party of the Ivory Coast – African Democratic Rally], led by the autocrat Houphouet-Boigny.

The crisis of the neocolonial system that the Ivory Coast has been experiencing since 1980, on top of the economic crisis and the heroic struggles of the popular masses for their freedom and bread, led to the weakening of the bases of the autocracy and its only party in 1990. From that partial victory of the popular masses, parties and organizations of the masses were formed. Of those parties, we should point out the ones that represent the middle classes which for a long time were oppressed by the PDCI. Those parties (FPI, PIT, USD, etc.) by their programs, speeches and practice are competing with the PDCI to serve as lackeys of international imperialism, particularly French imperialism. After the death of Houphouet-Boigny, the PDCI-RDA, undermined by its internal contradictions, split into two: the RDR of Alassane Ouatara and the PDCI of Konan Bédié. Those two parties of the Houphouet-Boigny type, as well as the petty bourgeois parties are fighting to the death over neocolonial power, to the extent of endangering the political stability necessary for the security of the interests of their imperialist masters.

The bourgeois parties have used various means: the exacerbation of religious differences and the playing off of some nationalities against others, the development of chauvinism and xenophobia, the adoption of antidemocratic measures, savage repression, etc. This relentless struggle has taken various forms: an active boycott of the elections of 1995, attempts at coups d'etat, the coup d'etat of 1999...

Those confrontations among bourgeois factions are the reflection of the evident failure of French imperialism to reach unity of their lackeys, and this has led to the present war. Thus, the essential motive of this war is to assure French interests in the Ivory Coast and in the subregion of West Africa.

The deep causes can be summarized as:

This reactionary war is between the party in power, the FPI and its allies in the "Patriotic Front," and the rebels (MPCI, MPIGO, MJP) and the RDR. It is the continuation by means of arms of the reactionary politics of the bourgeoisie and its master, French imperialism. It is a reactionary war, because it does not correspond to the interests of the popular masses and their emancipation. It is a war opposed to the aspirations and interests of the popular masses. This reactionary civil war has the following immediate political consequences:

As for the economic and social consequences:

Faced with this reactionary war, the communist parties who have signed the present statement:

The communist parties of Africa call on the proletariat and peoples of all countries in the region of West Africa to:

Cotonou, March 2003

Communist Party of Benin (PCB)
Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast (PCRCI)
Revolutionary Communist Party of Volta (PCRV)

[1] Benin: formerly Dahomey

[2] The Party in Volta continues to use the old name for Burkina Faso (its country), Upper Volta

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