United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has named the former director of the office for democratic institutions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to be his envoy for the Côte d’Ivoire election process.
According to his spokesman, Mr. Annan informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Gérard Stoudmann of Switzerland as his High Representative for those elections, replacing Antonio Monteiro of Portugal who left in mid-March following the successful establishment of an Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
In his OSCE post, Mr. Stroudmann helped develop the organization’s election assistance and monitoring work as well as programmes in democratization and human rights before being named, in 2002, to his current position as director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.
Elections are scheduled for October in Côte d’Ivoire, which was divided into a Government-ruled south and rebel-held north after the failure of an attempted coup against President Laurent Gbagbo in September 2002 triggered a civil war.
Troops from the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and the UN-authorized French Licorne forces have been guarding the so-called Zone of Confidence separating the two areas in this nation, once the world’s top cocoa producer. More than 7,500 uniformed UN personnel are present in the country as part of UNOCI's mission.