Ivorian crisis: UN chief phones president-elect Ouattara

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reaffirmed the UN ``principled and unwavering" stand that the outcome of the recent presidential run-off election in Cote d'Ivoire reflected the will of the people and the result must therefore be upheld.

In a telephone conversation with president-elect Alassane Ouattara on Sunday, Ban stressed that the international community remained committed to working together for a peaceful and durable end to the political stalemate in the country.

In a statement, made available to PANA in New York, it said that, ``the secretary-general appreciated Ouattara's restraint and patience even in the face of provocative actions''.

It quoted the UN chief as welcoming Ouattara's appreciation for the support and principled stance of the UN, as well asthat of Young J. Choi, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the country and General Abdul Hafiz, the commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Cote d'Ivoire.

``The Secretary-General told President Ouattara that he was alarmed by the reports of egregious human rights violations," the statement noted.

``He said UN peacekeepers had been instructed to do everything possible to gain access to the affected areas both for prevention and to investigate and record the violations so that those responsible will be held accountable,'' it added.

It further said that Ban took note of Ouattara's call during their conversation for an early International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation as a credible signal for accountability.

Cote d'Ivoire plunged into a tense political crisis after the incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede electoral defeat to his challenger, Ouattara, following a presidential run-off poll held on 28 November.

The international community has recognized Ouattara as the country's president-elect.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 3Jan2011

03 january 2011 19:13:23

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