- The Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the United Nations Operations in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and French forces supporting it until 30 July. This extension will enable the UN to support the conduct of credible election in the country this year.
The Council will review the mandates of UNOCI and the French force as well as UN troop levels "in light of the progress achieved in the implementation of the key steps of the peace process."
Since its deployment in April 2004, UNOCI has been supporting Côte d’Ivoire parties divided between the rebel-held North and government-controlled South to implement the Ouagadougou peace accord signed in January 2003.
The signing of the accord under the auspices of the Burkinabé President and Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Blaise Compaoré, followed an outbreak of a civil war in Côte d’Ivoire.
The accord sets out a series of measures aimed at combating the political divide, including creating a new transitional government and organizing free and fair presidential elections.
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, described the improved security and political conditions in Côte d’Ivoire as fragile gains considering the slow progress in achieving key benchmarks of the 2007 peace agreement, including dismantling militias.
The UN chief said there is need for redoubling of efforts by the parties and their international partners to help achieve the goals set out in the Ouagadougou accord and that of the November 2007 supplementary agreement.
Côte d’Ivoire needs the required resources to speed up identification process, voter registration, disarmament as well as re-establish state authority.
The resolution also asked Mr Ban to regularly inform the Security Council on the level of preparation of the entire electoral process on or before 15 April.
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