Endorsing commitments made by regional leaders to advance the peace process in Côte d’Ivoire earlier this month, the United Nations Security Council today said it was “fully prepared” to impose sanctions against those who block that effort.
Through a statement read out by its July President, Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sablière of France, the Council urged all Ivorian parties to follow through commitments on demobilization, holding of elections and other issues that were made at a 5 July “mini-summit” organized by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Yamoussoukro, the capital of the country, which has been divided between a rebel-held north and Government-controlled south since 2002.
In order to create the conditions indispensable for the holding of free, open, fair and transparent elections by the end of October, the 15-member body urged all Ivorian parties to accelerate progress in all these areas.
The Council threatened to impose sanctions, already authorized by a 2004 resolution, on anyone who blocked progress by inciting hatred, violating human rights or the arms embargo, or obstructing the work of the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI), the French forces which support it, the High Representative for the elections, and other international facilitators.
The Council welcomed the intention of the Secretary-General to call a meeting on the situation in September 2006 to take stock of the situation and chart further action.