Citizenship Reform: Ouagadougou Political Agreement (OPA)

OUAGADOUGOU POLITICAL AGREEMENT 

I. General identification of the population

The Parties signatories to this Agreement recognize that the identification of the Ivorian and foreign populations living in Côte d'Ivoire is a major concern. The absence of a clear and standard identity document and of individual administrative documents attesting to the identity and nationality of persons is a source of conflict. They have therefore decided to put an end to this situation by adopting the following measures:

1.1. Redeployment of mobile courts (audiences foraines) for the issuance of substitute birth certificates (jugements supplétif)

1.1.1. Mobile courts shall be redeployed throughout the national territory as soon as the new Government is formed pursuant to the present Agreement. In order to expedite the issuance of substitute birth certificates, the judges in charge of the new jurisdictions created specifically for the mobile courts shall be appointed by presidential decree and provided with the necessary resources for the discharge of their mandate.

1.1.2. These exceptional mobile court hearings, which shall take place over a period of three months, shall issue substitute birth certificates only to individuals born in Côte d'Ivoire who have never been registered in a registry office.

1.1.3. The redeployment of the mobile courts shall be accompanied by a public awareness, information and mobilization campaign involving political stakeholders, the military high command and civil society, during which affected individuals will be invited to go before the mobile courts corresponding to their place of birth so that they could be issued with a substitute birth certificate.

1.1.4 The Parties pledge to guarantee the security of the mobile court hearings throughout the national territory.

1.2. Reconstruction of lost or destroyed birth registers

In parallel with the mobile court hearings for the issuance of substitute birth certificates, registers that were lost or destroyed in certain registry offices shall be reconstructed in accordance with the provisions of the ordinance of 17 January 2007 and its implementation decree, which must be enacted as soon as possible.

1.3. Launching of an operation for the issuance of new identity documents (national identity cards and residence permits)

The Parties undertake to conduct a special operation for the issuance of new identity cards in accordance with the following modalities:

Implementation History

2007

Intermediate Implementation

The Ouagadougou Political Agreement required the general identification of the population, the deployment of mobile courts for the issuance of substitute birth certificates, and the issuance of national identity cards or residence permits. The process of issuing new identity cards was said to be carried out along with the issuance of voter cards.

After much delay, the process of issuing national identity cards started in 2007. As of December, 55 technical teams out of 111 planned mobile courts were deployed, 33 of which were operational. It was reported that the court granted a total of 93,027 duplicate birth certificates nationwide.1

  • 1. “Fifteenth progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire,” United Nations Security Council (S/2008/1), January 2, 2008.
2008

Intermediate Implementation

Steady progress was made in terms of issuing duplicate birth certificates for the purpose of providing national identity cards. By the end of December, 2.8 million people among the country's population of 19 million were identified nationwide as needing duplicate birth certificates.2

  • 2. “Nineteenth progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire,” United Nations Security Council (S/2009/21) January 8, 2009; “Ivory Coast extends voter identification deadline.” Agence France Presse, August 19, 2008.
2009

Intermediate Implementation

Population identification was completed by the end of June. A total of 6,552,694 people were registered in a voter roll, including 38,496 Ivorians registered in 23 foreign countries.3 Production and distribution of national identity cards and voter cards was scheduled for October and November of 2009 but was not completed.4

  • 3. “Twenty-second progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire,” United Nations Security Council (S/2009/495), September 29, 2009.
  • 4. “Twenty-third progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire,” United Nations Security Council (S/2010/15), January 7, 2010.
2010

Full Implementation

Production and distribution of national identity cards was rescheduled to be initiated in January and February but did not happen due to allegations of fraud. Finally, starting 6 October 2010, national identity cards for 5,932,999 individuals were distributed.5 This completed the implementation of citizenship-related provisions of the accord.

  • 5. “Progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire,” United Nations Security Council (S/2010/537), October 18, 2010; “Twenty-sixth progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire,” United Nations Security Council (S/2010/600), November 23, 2010.
2011

Full Implementation

The citizenship-related provisions in the accord were implemented in 2010.

2012

Full Implementation

The citizenship-related provisions in the accord were implemented in 2010.

2013

Full Implementation

The citizenship-related provisions in the accord were implemented in 2010.

2014

Full Implementation

The citizenship-related provisions in the accord were implemented in 2010.

2015

Full Implementation

The citizenship-related provisions in the accord were implemented in 2010.