Côte d'Ivoire: Security Council urges parties to make good on peace pledges

Côte d'Ivoire: Security Council urges parties to make good on peace pledges

Amb. Andrey I. Denisov
The Security Council today welcomed the recent agreement by Côte d'Ivoire's leaders to resume the country's stalled peace process, and called on them to observe deadlines for disarming militias and drawing up a selection process for presidential candidates.

In a statement read by the current Council President, Russian Ambassador Andrey Denisov, the 15-member body also reaffirmed "its total readiness to take any and all appropriate measures against individuals who impeded the full implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement" signed in January of last year.

At a summit convened last week in Accra, Ghana, by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the parties broke the impasse and recommitted themselves to the peace process. Today's Council statement welcomed "the concrete measures agreed upon" in the Ghanaian capital aimed at facilitating the full implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis accord.

Ambassador Denisov urged the parties "to adhere strictly to the deadlines set for resolving the question of eligibility to the office of President of the Republic and beginning the disarming of the Forces nouvelles and all paramilitary and military groups."

"Incontestable elections" should be held, as agreed, by the end of next year, according to the statement.

On human rights, the Council President voiced concern about the results of an inquiry carried out by the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (ONUCI) into massacres in the Korhogo area. The ONUCI team reported finding some 99 corpses in three mass graves.

The statement also reaffirmed the Council's support for an International Commission of Inquiry which is looking into human rights abuses in Côte d'Ivoire since September 2002. "All persons responsible for such violence will be brought to justice," the President said.

Meanwhile, in the main Ivorian commercial hub of Abidjan, ONUCI representatives and Government officials today signed an agreement to broadcast a mission radio station that will initially cover that city and its environs.

UN officials said the radio station, ONUCI-FM, would be launched next Monday.

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Video of Council meeting [13mins]