The United Nations Security Council today welcomed pilot public hearings in Côte d’Ivoire to establish the nationality of individuals and talks between government and rebel military leaders on starting the disarmament process.
In a statement read out by the president for the month of May, Ambassador Basile Ikouébé of the Republic of the Congo, the 15-member body said it “welcomes the launching of first pilot operations of public hearings in seven locations, in particular in Abidjan, in the South and in the North of the country.”
The Council also welcomed “the discussions engaged by the Chiefs of Staff of the Defence and Security Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FANCI) and the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN) to initiate without delay the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme.”
The statement commended Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny “for having taken, in cooperation with President Laurent Gbagbo, these concrete initiatives which constitute a first step towards the implementation of the peace process he leads” and reiterated its support for him.
The Council expressed full support for the UN-authorized International Working Group (IWG), which has been mandated to monitor progress in the Ivorian peace process, while stressing that many of the essential tasks envisaged in the IWG’s road map remain to be executed. It repeated its grave concern at the serious delay in the implementation of this road map, echoing the Secretary-General who said in a report last month that “the window of opportunity is very narrow and time is running out” for the elections whose scheduled deadline is 31 October.
The Council strongly condemned the acts of violence against civilians, political leaders and impartial peacekeeping forces, the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI, or in French, ONUCI) and demanded that all Ivorian parties refrain from making public any messages that incite hatred and violence. “It warns all Ivorian parties in that regard,” the President said.
The Council noted that under two resolutions approved in 2004 and 2005 it had established “targeted measures” to be imposed against any persons who “among other things, block the implementation of the peace process, including by attacking or obstructing the action of UNOCI, of the French forces which support it, of the High Representative for the elections or of the International Working Group, or who incite publicly hatred and violence.”