The United Nations Security Council voiced concern today at possible further setbacks to Côte d’Ivoire’s already much-delayed presidential elections, urging all sides to ensure that this major step in restoring stability after civil war split the country in two takes place as scheduled on 29 November.
“The Security Council reiterates that the Ivorian political actors are bound to respect the electoral timeline,” the Council said in a statement read by its President for the month, Ambassador Susan Rice of the United States, noting that further delays in publishing a provisional voters list might endanger the timeline.
“It urges all Ivorian actors to comply fully with their commitments, in order for the voters list to be published as soon as possible in the framework of a transparent and inclusive process.”
The 15-member body said it would review the situation by 15 October and take appropriate action against those who would block the progress of the electoral process.
It will also start considering the future direction of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and benchmarks for a possible drawdown in light of the progress of the electoral process.
The Council established UNOCI in 2004 to help ensure a ceasefire and pave the way for permanent peace and democratic elections after civil war split the country into a Government-ruled south and a rebel-controlled north seven years ago. Reauthorized repeatedly since then, most recently until 31 January 2010, it currently comprises nearly 8,400 uniformed personnel, as well as 407 international civilian personnel.
The statement commended President Blaise Compaoré of neighbouring Burkina Faso, who brought the opposing Ivorian sides together for talks in Ouagadougou, for his continued efforts to support the peace process in Côte d’Ivoire.