Despite progress in Côte d'Ivoire, UN Council voices "grave concern" over delays

27 April 2006

After meeting today with the Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny of Côte d'Ivoire, the United Nations Security Council noted the progress achieved in the country's peace process under his watch, but expressed grave concern at what it called serious delays in the demobilization of combatants and preparations for upcoming elections.

After meeting today with the Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny of Côte d'Ivoire, the United Nations Security Council noted the progress achieved in the country's peace process under his watch, but expressed grave concern at what it called serious delays in the demobilization of combatants and preparations for upcoming elections.

Through a consensus statement read out by Wang Guangya of China, its President for April, the 15-member body also reiterated its warning that sanctions would be imposed against persons who obstructed the peace process by inciting public hatred and violence or interfering with the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), the French Licorne forces, the High Representative for Elections or others assisting the country.

In his latest report to the Council, Secretary-General Kofi Anna saw “some encouraging signs” for the peace process in Côte d'Ivoire, but warned that the security situation remains fragile and repeated his appeal to the Security Council to reinforce the UN operation (UNOCI) to prevent trouble spreading to neighbouring Liberia.

In another development, results of a recent study on internal displacement in Côte d'Ivoire were released today by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The report shows that an estimated 700,000 persons have been displaced since the beginning of the current crisis in 2002 when an aborted coup against President Laurent Gbagbo led to civil war.

Ninety per cent of those persons are living with other families in five large urban or surrounding areas, putting severe economic strain on many of their hosts, the report says. Additionally, the report shows that 50 per cent of those displaced say their health situation has worsened, while 30 per cent of displaced children lack the means to attend school.

During his recent five-day mission to Côte d'Ivoire, Walter Kälin, Representative of the Secretary-General on the Human Rights for Internally Displaced Persons, underscored the need to adopt a more systematic approach to the issue of internal displacement in Côte d'Ivoire, OCHA said.

The Office said that during the current period of intense negotiations to resolve the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, UN agencies, led by the Humanitarian Coordinator, “call upon the Government and partners to respond to the challenge of meeting the needs of the internally displaced and to help them return to their homes in security and to achieve better living conditions.”

 

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