UN convenes meeting on Ivorian crisis in Accra

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- UN secretary general Kofi Annan has convened a new meeting on the Ivorian crisis to be held in Accra 29 July, informed sources said in Addis Ababa.
Annan has invited African presidents who attended a mini-summit devoted to the situation in Cote d'Ivoire here Tuesday as well as leaders of the main Ivorian political parties and former rebel groups.
According to a news release issued at the end of the meeting, the objective of the Accra summit will be to "consolidate the consensus on major issues confronting the Ivorian peace process.
" Participants in Tuesday's mini-summit agreed to undertake several "confidence-building" measures to guarantee the success of the forthcoming summit in Accra.
They requested the Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to meet with his country's main political forces to resolve outstanding issues and ensure that the Ivorian parliament adopts all the bills envisaged under the Linas-Marcoussis agreement by the end of July.
The mini-summit encouraged Gbagbo to convene an extra- ordinary parliamentary session if necessary.
The African leaders also urged Cote d'Ivoire to revive joint commission meeting with neighbouring Burkina Faso and Mali and called for a tripartite encounter between Gbagbo and his Burkinabe and Malian counterparts "to create conditions for a successful Accra summit.
" Meanwhile, the mini-summit cautioned that the prevailing impasse that has hampered the peace process in Cote d'Ivoire since March 2004 could negatively impact on the entire sib-region.
African leaders also denounced "the recent upsurge of violence and acts of intimidation against the civilian population and employees of UN agencies and other organisations working in Cote d'Ivoire.
" They urged all the Ivorian parties "to take the necessary measures to disband all paramilitary groups and militias involved in such acts," and appealed to the ex-belligerents to abstain from any actions that could jeopardise the cease-fire.
The summit told actors in the Ivorian crisis to restore security, which they termed as "a prerequisite for the re- installation of the administration, resumption of economic activities throughout the country, as well as the holding of free and fair elections in October 2005," the release added.
It affirmed that "the integral and unconditional application of the Linas-Marcoussis agreement that Ivorian parties willingly signed in January 2003" was the only way to restore peace in the country.
The meeting reminded Ivorian politicians that they had a "moral obligation to ensure the effective implementation of the said accord," adding that the international community would "hold them individually responsible in case they renege on their pledges.
" Leaders at the high-level meeting asked President Gbagbo and Prime Minister Seydou Diarra to take the necessary measures "for an effective functioning of the government of national reconciliation.
" They also urged the Ivorian cabinet to immediately introduce all the pending legal reforms envisaged in the Marcoussis deal and rapidly submit them for adoption by parliament.
Besides UN secretary general Kofi Annan, who initiated the mini- summit, the Ivorian, Malian and Burkinabe presidents and several other leaders participated in the discussions These include President Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo, new current African Union chairman and John Kufuor of Ghana, the current Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) chairman.
Togo's Prime Minister Koffi Sama and ECOWAS Executive Secretary Mohamed Ibn Chambas also attended.

07 july 2004 11:43:00

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