- A UN report has accused the former Ivorian enemies of violating the arms embargo imposed on the country, ahead of the envisaged elections next month.
According to a new United Nations report the rebel-held north by the Force Nouvelles and the government-controlled south are stocking up on weapons, ahead of the much delayed national polls scheduled for 29 November.
“Despite the arms embargo, northern and southern Ivorian parties are rearming or re-equipping with related materiel,” the Group of Experts monitoring sanctions on the country said in its latest report to the Security Council.
It raised concerns over the systematic transfer of weapons and ammunition from neighbouring Burkina Faso to the Forces Nouvelles-controlled north. Burkina Faso was accused of supporting rebel forces during the 2002 civil war.
The report said the rebels in the north control and exploit natural resources, providing both motive and means to sustain territorial control in northern Côte d’Ivoire.
“The government also faces potentially violent political opposition in the south of the country, which has prompted it to begin re-equipping some of its security forces with riot-control equipment and could prompt efforts to import arms and related materiel in the near future,” the report said.
The country is currently preparing for the holding of the long-awaited and much-delayed presidential elections, one of many reunification tasks set out in the 2007 blueprint for political reconciliation, the Ouagadougou Agreement.
Over 6.5 million Ivorians have been identified and registered ahead of the polls, originally scheduled for as far back as 2005.
The West African country which has been divided since 2002 between the government-held south and a northern area dominated by the rebel Forces Nouvelles.
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