PSC welcomes progress in Ivorian peace process

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- Welcoming the progress made in the Côte d'Ivoire peace process, the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) has stressed the need for all Ivorian parties to abide by the Constitution of the country.
In a communiqué issued after its 34th meeting held in Sirte, Libya, the PSC has demanded that all the Ivorian parties implement the agreements reached in good faith and without delay.
The Council has in particular taken note of the signing by the parties, on 6 April 2005 in Pretoria, of the Agreement on the Peace Process in Cote d'Ivoire (the Pretoria Agreement) and the steps taken towards its implementation.
This includes the announcement made by President Laurent Gbagbo on 26 April 2005 that all candidates nominated by the political parties signatory to the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement of 24 January 2003 would be eligible for presidential elections.
According to the communiqué, implementation of the Pretoria Agreement would also be in conformity with the decision taken by the AU mediator, South African President Thabo Mbeki, with respect to the eligibility for the Presidency of Côte d'Ivoire, and the Agreement on the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Process and on the Restructuring of the Armed Forces.
The DDR agreement was signed on 14 May 2005 in Yamoussoukro by Chiefs of Staff of the National Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire (FANCI) and the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN).
The PSC has also welcomed the Declaration on the Implementation of the Pretoria Agreement (Pretoria Declaration), signed by the Ivorian parties on 29 June 2005 in Pretoria.
Ivorian parties should work together to remove all obstacles with a view to ensuring that elections are held as scheduled, in October 2005, the PSC said.
Further, the parties must ensure the effective and immediate commencement of the disarmament and dismantling of the militia with a view to completing the process by 20 August 2005.
In adherence to the elections timetable, the National Assembly must, by 15 July 2005, adopt all the amendments to the seven laws pertaining to the ongoing process, as proposed by the Mediation.
The PSC has emphasised the need for all Ivorian parties to abide by the Constitution "as part of the overall efforts to facilitate the conclusion of the peace process.
" Expressing its support to the National Reconciliation Government, the Council has reiterated "the need to ensure its effective functioning and promote greater cohesion among its members, to enable it fully assume its responsibilities as provided for in the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement and subsequent agreements reached by the Ivorian parties.
" The PSC also called upon all the Ivorian parties to cooperate fully with the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), "to enable it discharge effectively its mandate and contribute to the early conclusion of the peace process" in the country.
Meanwhile, the PSC has commended President Mbeki "for his tireless mediation efforts" and requested him to pursue the same efforts with a view to facilitating the conclusion of the peace process.
Condemning the recent massacres in Duekoué, in the western part of Côte d'Ivoire, the Council urged the Ivorian parties to work together to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
Appropriate sanctions would be imposed against parties who would block the peace process by failing to implement their commitments under the Pretoria Agreement, the PSC warned.

05 july 2005 07:45:00

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