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Security Council warns parties in Côte d'Ivoire against using force to resolve problems

11 March 2005 Security Council members today called on the parties in Côte d'Ivoire to respect their obligations under the country's peace agreement, strongly warning them against resorting to force to resolve their problems.

A statement to the press by the Council's President for March, Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg of Brazil, said the members condemned the attack that occurred last week in the western part of the country.

"They strongly warned the Ivorian parties against the use of force," he said. "Their view is there must be a political solution to the Ivorian crisis; no military option."

The Council would not tolerate any incitement to violence or violence itself, including attacks against the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) or French Licorne forces, he added.

"All the Ivorian parties must respect their obligations under the peace agreement as well as the integrity of the Zone of Confidence," he said.

Council members also expressed deep concern about the way the situation in the West African nation was evolving, particularly the possible negative impact of the present impasse in the peace process on the holding of elections next October, Ambassador Sardenberg said.

They reiterated their support for the "vital" mediation efforts undertaken by South African President Thabo Mbeki, hoping that the mission to be sent to Côte d'Ivoire will lead to important breakthroughs in the peace process, he said, particularly with regard to the disarmament of the rebel Forces Nouvelles and militia, and to the revision of Article 35 of the constitution, which concerns eligibility by nationality for the country's presidency.

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