Annan reiterates call for peace in Côte d'Ivoire

Annan reiterates call for peace in Côte d'Ivoire

Secretary-General Kofi Annan
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today condemned violence and once again called on all Ivoirians to work towards making the Linas-Morcoussis Agreement a concrete first step towards peace in Côte d'Ivoire.

"In associating itself with that agreement, the United Nations reaffirmed its determination to continue to contribute to all efforts aimed at bringing the conflict and the suffering of the Ivoirian people to an end," a statement issued by a spokesman for the Secretary-General said.

The agreement negotiated by various parties from Côte d'Ivoire and endorsed by the Paris Conference of Heads of State on 26 January represents a beginning to restoring peace and stability to a reunified Côte d'Ivoire, the statement said. Mr Annan also renewed his appeal to the international community to continue to support the efforts of the Ivorian people to return to normalcy.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General's Humanitarian Envoy for the Crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, Carolyn McAskie, concluded a three-day mission to Liberia. Over the weekend, she heard the testimony of Ivoirian refugees at the Saclepea refugee camp, where they appealed for more humanitarian assistance and expressed their desire to return to their country. At the Karnplay transit centre in Nimba, Liberian returnees and third-country nationals expressed their wish to move away from the border, which remains volatile.

Ms. McAskie expressed her gratitude to the host communities and Government of Liberia for their open-door policy to foreign refugees and appealed to Liberians not to get involved in the Côte d'Ivoire conflict for the sake of regional stability.

Ms McAskie is scheduled to arrive later today in Guinea, where she is expected to look at the impact the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire is exerting on that country.