United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, saying that Côte d'Ivoire could slip back into conflict, told the Security Council today that he would soon send an assessment mission to that country so that he can prepare recommendations for improving the work of the UN's peacekeeping mission (MINUCI) there.
The Council had asked him to report "on how MINUCI's efforts to facilitate peace and stability in Côte d'Ivoire might be improved, including possibly by reinforcement of the UN presence in the country," he said at a meeting to consider a request from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to strengthen the mission.
MINUCI currently comprises 34 UN military liaison officers to monitor security and build confidence between the government's Forces Armees de Côte d'Ivoire (FANCI) and the northern opposition Forces Nouvelles, following the signing of a peace agreement in Linas-Marcoussis, France, that ended fierce fighting early this year.
Mr. Annan called on the Ivorian signatories to the Linas-Marcoussis peace agreement to implement its provisions without delay.
The Forces Nouvelles, which withdrew from the government of National Reconciliation in September, should rejoin it without delay and all parties should accept the government as constituted after the appointment of the Defence and Security Ministers on 12 September, he said.
Militias should disband and hand over their weapons, while the security forces should be restructured, the de facto partition of the country should end at once and the National Assembly should adopt the reforms proposed in the Government's work programme, Mr. Annan said.
Council resolution 1479 establishing MINUCI provides for deployment of 42 more military officers and a civilian component focusing on human rights, the media and preparations for elections in 2005.