UN Security Council extends UN missions in Cote d’Ivoire, Darfur

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Security Council has unanimously extended the operations of the UN peacekeeping operations in Cote d’Ivoire and in Sudan's Darfur region.

The PANA Correspondent in New York reported that the Council on Wednesday, in a meeting, extended the mandate of the UN Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) until 30 June, 2014, to continue work on its core priorities of protecting civilians, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants and security sector reform.

The Council members also agreed that the mission should be reconfigured by 30 June, 2014, to consist of 7,137 military personnel from the current limit of 10,400, as recommended in UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s latest report presented earlier in July by the Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Herve Ladsous.

They noted a possible further reduction down to 5,437 military personnel by June 2015,
depending on the security on the ground and the improved capacity of the government to take over UNOCI’s security role.

The Council also decided that UNOCI should reconfigure its military presence to concentrate resources in high-risk areas to more effectively assist the government in protecting civilians and stability the security situation in the country.

In another meeting, the Security Council unanimously extended the mandate of the UN-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) for a further 13 months, until 31 August, 2014.

Briefing the Council last week on security in Darfur, Joint Special Representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas said the situation remains "volatile" amid fighting between Sudanese government forces and rebels, a recent spate of attacks against peacekeepers and an upsurge in inter-ethnic violence.

Since the beginning of this year, the renewed violence in Darfur has prompted more than 250,000 people to flee their villages and abandon their livelihoods, and the inter-tribal clashes have strained the ability of humanitarian organization to reach vulnerable families.

The clashes have also led to four attacks against UNAMID peacekeepers over the past four months. The most recent incident occurred on 13 July, when seven Tanzanian peacekeepers were killed and 17 other members of the mission were injured in a roadside ambush.

In this context, the Council therefore requested that the UN Secretary-General, in close consultation with the African Union, presents options and recommendations on improving UNAMID’s effectiveness to the UN Security Council by the end of next February.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 31July2013

31 july 2013 17:33:04

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