United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today hailed the appointment of Charles Konan Banny as the new Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire, a key step in the political transition aimed at ending years of unrest in the divided country.
In a statement released in New York by his spokesman, Mr. Annan urged the parties to cooperate fully with Mr. Konan Banny and encouraged his Government to “move without delay, working with the International Working Group to implement the roadmap for the transition period and interacting with the High Representative for the elections to resolve the stalemate in the Independent Electoral Commission.”
The transition period should lead to free, open, fair and transparent elections by the end of October 2006, according to decisions of the African Union (AU) endorsed by the Security Council. The Working Group represents the UN, AU, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), European Union (EU), International Organization of Francophone, World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), six African countries, France, United Kingdom and the United States.
The Secretary-General voiced gratitude for the efforts of the presidents of Nigeria, South Africa and Niger “who contributed so much” to the appointment of Mr. Konan Benny, and commended the outgoing Prime Minister, Mr. Seydou Diarra, “for his tireless efforts in the cause of peace for his country.”