UN Security Council extends peacekeepers' mandate in Cote d'Ivoire

New York- US (PANA) -- The UN Security Council has extended by one month, the UN Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) and the French forces supporting it.
The council unanimously adopted a resolution to that effect on Thursday.
The Pan African News Agency (PANA), however, reported that the 15-member body on Friday continued its closed-door meeting to consider possible revisions to the m ission's mandate.
In a statement, made available to PANA on Friday, the council stated that it too k this decision "considering the need to examine thoroughly" the recommendations for a revised mandate set out by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his latest r eport.
UNOCI was established in 2004 by the Security Council to facilitate the peace pr ocess in Cote d'Ivoire, which was split by civil war in 2002 between the rebel-h e ld north and government-controlled south.
The mission has been providing logistic and technical assistance for the prepara tions for the country's presidential elections, which were supposed to have been held as far back as 2005.
However, the elections have been repeatedly postponed.
In his report, Ban recommended maintaining UNOCI until the end of the year, with the same current total strength of its military and police components.
He said that, "this became imperative, in order to give Cote d'Ivoire a chance t o walk the final mile to the elections with the full support of the United Natio n s.
" The secretary-general also recommended an adjustment of the mission's mandate to allow it to focus on helping the parties to implement the peace process, includ i ng those related to elections, disarmament and all aspects of the reunification o f the country.

28 may 2010 16:25:00

xhtml CSS