The United Nations Security Council today said it was looking for ways to toughen the arms embargo against Côte d'Ivoire and deplored the failure of all parties to fulfill their pledges under peace agreements by yesterday, a deadline set to herald expanded and automatic sanctions for a year.
On the month-old arms embargo, “the Security Council expresses its intention to consider without delay further steps to ensure the effective monitoring and implementation of the arms embargo imposed by Resolution 1572 (2004),” according to a statement read by Algeria's Permanent Representative, Ambassador Abdullah Baali, this month's Council President.
On the question of the broader sanctions to be imposed if the parties failed to start the peace process, Mr. Baali said the body “deplore(d) the fact that the signatories of the Linas-Marcoussis and Accra III agreements have not implemented by 15 December 2004 all their commitments under the Accra II agreement.”
The Accra III Agreement, adopted at a West African summit in late July in the Ghanaian capital, binds the Ivorian parties once more to the 2003 Linas-Marcoussis accord which ended bitter fighting between factions and briefly bought into being a Government of national reconciliation
If any Ivorian party failed to respect the commitments made last week to the African Union (AU) representative, South African President Thabo Mbeki, thereby threatening the implementation of the two agreements, however, then the Council “recalls in this regard the measures referred to in paragraphs 9 and 11 of Resolution 1572 (2004).”
The two paragraphs impose the arms embargo and threaten travel bans and the freezing of assets, but sources said the designated “Committee of the Security Council consisting of all the members of the Council” did not yet have the requisite list of the Côte d'Ivoire nationals “who constitute a threat to the peace and national reconciliation process.”
In the statement, the Algerian Permanent Representative said the Council “demands that all Ivorian parties stop all incitement to violence and hatred in broadcast, written and other media” and “that all Ivorian parties ensure freedom of the press and unlimited access to information throughout the country.”
The Council also expressed its appreciation to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Albert Tévoédjrè, a 75-year-old former senior minister and professor from Benin, who resigned from the job last week, “for his unsparing efforts to support the restoration of a durable peace in Côte d'Ivoire under challenging circumstances.”