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Annan recommends strong action against those blocking Cte d'Ivoire peace

29 September 2005 In the present circumstances Côte d'Ivoire's elections will not be held, as constitutionally required, by the end of next month and the Security Council "may wish to consider taking firm action" against those who try to obstruct the implementation of the country's peace agreements, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says.

In his sixth progress report on the peacekeeping UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), he says the political opposition said it would be impossible to hold the elections on 30 October and it stressed the need for a transitional period during which President Laurent Gbagbo would not hold power. It also disputed the assessment that Mr. Gbagbo had carried out his side of the agreements.

"Once again, therefore, Côte d'Ivoire finds itself at a crossroads, with daunting challenges lying ahead. Under the present circumstances, the elections will not be held on 30 October, as required by the Ivorian Constitution," he says.

"Consequently, urgent attention must be given to the management of the post-30 October period and the preparation of free, fair and transparent elections, the results of which would be acceptable to all. The parties will need to agree on a realistic time frame for meeting key benchmarks in the electoral process."

The reconstituted Independent Electoral Commission must be established without further delay and urgent steps must be taken to dismantle and disarm the militia, while continuing the preparations for the pre-cantonment of the Forces nouvelles combatants, he says.

"To that end, the Security Council may wish to consider taking firm action against those who attempt to obstruct the implementation of these and other key provisions of the Pretoria Agreement, notably through the imposition of the targeted sanctions envisaged under Security Council resolution 1572 (2004)."

Resolution 1572's provisions include establishing a Security Council committee which would determine which persons would be prevented from entering or transiting through other territories, which persons had publicly incited hatred and violence and which would have their assets frozen.

"The time has come for the Ivorian parties to clearly assume their respective responsibilities. I therefore welcome the decision of the Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004) to visit Côte d'Ivoire in the coming weeks," Mr. Annan says.


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