- The UN Security Council has urged Ivorian authorities to hold credible presidential elections at the earliest date possible, after the West African state postponed the much-delayed polls.
The statement followed the Council’s closed-door meeting with Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, Alain Le Roy, who briefed members on the conclusion of the sixth meeting of the permanent consultative framework of the Ouagadougou Agreement, the 2007 blueprint for political reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire.
The council noted the postponement of the first round of presidential elections which had been scheduled for 29 November due to technical and financial constraints, as well as important remaining tasks.
The members of the Council have called on the Ivorian stakeholders to pursue their efforts in order to hold credible elections at the earliest possible date.
The Ivorian elections, which were originally slated as far back as 2005, will constitute a major step in restoring stability after civil war split the West African nation seven years ago into a government-held south and a northern area dominated by the rebel Forces Nouvelles.
At the end October, the Council extended the arms and diamond embargo on Ivory Coast for another year until 31 October 2010. The ban also extends travel restrictions targeting Ivorian political figures and a freeze on their foreign assets.
The UN arms embargo was imposed in 2004 over violations of a 2003 cease-fire between the government and the rebels.
Over 6.5 million Ivorians have been identified and registered ahead of the polls, originally scheduled for as far back as 2005.
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