UN renews sanctions against Cote d'Ivoire

New York- US (PANA) -- The UN Security Council Friday extended to April next year , the sanctions on weapons, financial and travel on some individuals in Cote d'I v oire.
The council said it renewed the sanction due to the situation in the country, wh ich it said "is a continuing threat to international peace.
" Cote d'Ivoire has been split between a government-controlled south and rebel-hel d north by civil war since 2002.
In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body, which last October rene wed sanctions for a full year, said it would review the measures not later than t hree months after the much-delayed presidential elections, now scheduled for 31 O ctober.
A second round of balloting is slated to be held 28 November if there is no clea r winner in the final stages of the United Nations-backed efforts to reunite the West African country, the worldâ?s largest cocoa producer.
Parliamentary polls are also being held.
The sanctions also include a ban on any state importing rough diamonds, the so-c alled â?blood diamondsâ? that have fuelled conflict in the region, including in neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The council, however, said that, "the arms embargo does not apply to non-lethal equipment intended solely to enable Ivorian security forces use only appropriate and proportionate force while maintaining public order.
" It also noted with concern that despite sustained improvement in the overall hum an rights situation, reported abuses, including sexual violence against civilian s persist in different parts of the country.
It stressed the need to bring the perpetrators to justice.
It further noted with concern, reports that media outlets were inciting violence and a resumption of internal conflict and it stressed its readiness to impose s a nctions against those who obstruct the electoral process.
Meanwhile, Friday marked the start of the electoral campaign for the polls.
On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonâ?s Special Representative in Cote d'Ivoire, Y.
Choi, called on all sides to avoid any violent disruption of th e long-delayed process.
PANA learnt that the UN peacekeeping force in Cote dâ?Ivoire, known as UNOCI, h as already flown in hundreds of additional soldiers to reinforce its 8,650 troop s already there.
The mission was set up in 2004 to monitor a ceasefire and to help bring stabilit y, including holding elections, to end the split.
The Ivorian elections were originally meant to be held in 2005 but the date was continually pushed back.

15 october 2010 19:36:00

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