Security Council urges Ivorian parties to devise ‘realistic’ plan for delayed polls

27 January 2009

The Security Council today urged all political actors in Côte d’Ivoire to agree without delay on a “realistic” time frame for the long-postponed elections in the West African country, as it extended the United Nations mission there for another six months.

The Security Council today urged all political actors in Côte d’Ivoire to agree without delay on a “realistic” time frame for the long-postponed elections in the West African country, as it extended the United Nations mission there for another six months.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council renewed the mandates of the mission, known by its acronym UNOCI, and of the French forces which support it until 31 July, “in particular to support the organization in Côte d’Ivoire of free, open, fair and transparent elections.”

In doing so, the 15-member body also decided to reduce the level of authorized military personnel with UNOCI from 8,115 to 7,450.

The mission was requested, within its existing resources, to support the full implementation of the Ouagadougou Agreement and subsequent accords, aiming to bring peace and stability to the country, which has been divided since 2002 between the Government-held south and a northern area dominated by the rebel Forces Nouvelles.

In addition to the holding of the elections, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has cited the disarmament of the former combatants, the dismantling of the militias, the reunification of Ivorian security forces and the redeployment of State administration throughout the country as critical remaining tasks for the nation.

“While the country currently enjoys increased stability, the delicate electoral process, including the post-electoral period, and the implementation of the remaining tasks of the peace agreement require that UNOCI maintain its core capabilities,” Mr. Ban wrote in his latest report on Côte d’Ivoire, in which he recommended the extension of the mission’s mandate.

Last week, Mr. Ban’s Special Representative and head of UNOCI, Choi Young-jin, told the Council in a briefing that the Ivorian parties agreed that the holding of the elections, last scheduled for 30 November 2008, would now await the completion of the identification process and the disarmament of ex-combatants.

 

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