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UN Security Council demands compliance with Cte d'Ivoire peace accords

21 October 2005 Expressing its serious concern over the deteriorating situation in Côte d'Ivoire and condemning serious recent attacks on United Nations peacekeeping personnel, the Security Council today called on all the parties in the divided West African country to implement immediately all the peace accords they have signed.

By a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member Council demanded that the Forces Nouvelles armed opposition and all militias proceed without delay with the national disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme so as to help restore State authority throughout the national territory, reunify the country and allow the organization of the postponed elections as soon as possible.

The Government rules the southern part of the world's most important cocoa producer and the armed opposition controls the north. UN peacekeeping troops and the UN-authorized French Licorne forces are stationed mainly along the Zone of Confidence between the two areas.

The Council demanded that all Ivorian parties refrain from the use of force and violence, including against civilians and foreigners, and from all disruptive street protests. The neighbouring countries should prevent any cross-border movement of combatants or embargoed weapons into Côte d'Ivoire and "stop all incitement to hatred and violence in radio and television broadcasting, as well as in any other media."

It expressed its support for the establishment of a ministerial-level International Working Group to draw up a "road map" for holding free, fair and transparent elections no later than October of next year, in consultation with all the Ivorian parties.

The Council urged the Chairman of the African Union (AU), the Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the AU's Mediator to ensure that a new prime minister acceptable to all the signatories of the January 2003 Linas-Marcoussis Agreement would be appointed by the end of this month.

The Agreement ended years of ethnic confrontation, which included a failed 2002 coup attempt against President Laurent Gbagbo. It has been expanded or clarified by subsequent accords. Lack of progress in implementing the peace agreements led to a one-year delay of the Ivorian elections that had been scheduled for this month.

The Council stressed that the new prime minister should have all the necessary powers to ensure the effective functioning of the Government and to guarantee security and the redeployment of the administrative and public services throughout the country.

Also today, the chairman of the Security Council's Sanctions Committee for Côte d'Ivoire, Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece, ended his three-day fact-finding visit to that country.

He was to hold meetings with leaders of the Forces Nouvelles and other signatories to the 2003 peace agreement. His trip was made in connection with a Security Council resolution passed last year allowing targeted sanctions to be applied to those who block the peace process, violate human rights, or break the arms embargo against Côte d'Ivoire.

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