Political stalemate in Cote d'Ivoire worries UN chief

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday expressed concern over the continuing political stalemate in Cote d’Ivoire, saying "the situation is taking a worrying turn with unfolding events that can lead to wide-spread violence."

"The  Secretary-General reiterates his call on all the Ivorian parties and their supporters to exercise patience and refrain from any actions that could, accidentally or deliberately, provoke violence,” a UN statement said.

It quoted Ban as saying that, "in the currently charged political environment, such actions could have unpredictable consequences, including reigniting civil war.

"The secretary-general also reminded those who incite or perpetrate violence and those who use the media for this purpose,  that they will be held accountable for their actions,'' it noted.

The statement said further that, "Ban once again, calls upon Laurent Gbagbo to respect the will of the Ivorian people and to step down to allow President-elect Alassane Ouattara to assume his mandate."

It further stated that, "the UN remains in close contact with the Ivorian stakeholders, as well as regional and international leaders, who stand firm in their demand for a peaceful end to the crisis and for respect for the will of  the people."

PANA recalled that Cote d’Ivoire has been thrust into political uncertainty after the incumbent president refused to concede electoral defeat.

Also, recent event points to threat to peace and possibility of violence between the opposing parties in the crisis.

The UN had endorsed the victory of Ouattara, in the presidential run-off elections held on 28 November, despite outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo’s claim to have won.
-0- PANA AA/BOS 15Dec2010

15 december 2010 17:36:08

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