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Security Council threatens individuals blocking Ivorian peace pact

Security Council threatens individuals blocking Ivorian peace pact

The United Nations Security Council today threatened unspecified actions against individuals whose activities might block the full implementation of the 2003 peace accord between the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and its opposition.

In a statement read in an open meeting by the Council President for April, German Ambassador Gunter Pleuger, the 15-member body emphasized “the individual responsibility of each of the Ivorian actors in the settlement of the crisis.”

The Council also expressed its “readiness to consider further steps to encourage full implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis agreement and to promote the process of national reconciliation…including actions that might be taken, if necessary, against individuals whose activities are an obstacle to the full implementation” of the agreement.

Mr. Pleuger recalled that because of the political forces’ unconditional commitment to the agreement, the Security Council had decided to deploy the peacekeeping UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) to support the peace process, drawn up “to culminate in 2005 with the organization of free, fair and transparent elections.”

The Linas-Marcoussis agreement of January 2003 halted fierce fighting between the Government of President Laurent Gbagbo and armed opposition forces.

Referring to opposition protests that ended with some fatalities, the Council expressed “its grave concern at the events which occurred in Côte d’Ivoire at the end of March and at the current impasse in the peace process defined in the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement,” which it called “the only possible solution to the crisis” in the West African country.

With French Licorne and UN peacekeeping forces separating northern and southern opponents, the Council reaffirmed its strong commitment to the territorial integrity and unity of the country.

Earlier this month Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Mr. Gbagbo to submit to the National Assembly draft laws required by the peace agreement, cooperate fully with the international commission of inquiry appointed to investigate the deadly clashes in late March and make sure that civic and political liberties were restored.

Mr. Annan also appealed to the opposition parties who had suspended their participation in the Government of National Reconciliation to resume their work as soon as possible.