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UNSC Extends Mandate Of Ivory Coast Peace Keeping Mission
328 days ago
(RTTNews) - The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Thursday extended the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) as well as that of the supporting French forces until 31 July 2013.
In an unanimous resolution, the Council also reduced the strength of the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) by one battalion, in line with a recommendation made by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The Council reiterated its continuing authorization for UNOCI to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate, including with respect to its priority concern, the protection of civilians. It was also decided that UNOCI should have an added focus on supporting the government in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants, as well as on security sector reform.
The 15-member Council also called on the Government of Côte d'Ivoire to enhance dialogue with political opposition and urged opposition parties to contribute to reconciliation. The Council also pressed the government to ensure that all those responsible for serious human rights abuses and international humanitarian law violations were brought to justice.
In late 2010, Ivory Coast had witnessed intense fighting after a disputed presidential run-off election. The fighting extended for months after runner-up and incumbent Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down in favor of internationally-accepted President-elect Alassane Ouattara.
The conflict was finally halted with the arrest of Gbagbo. but had resulted in the killing of 3,000 people, besides forcing a million to flee their homes. Gbagbo has since been extradited to the Netherlands to face trial at the Hague-based International Criminal Court.
Nevertheless, the West African nation continues to face a number of key post-crisis tasks, including the restoration of law and order, national reconciliation, the holding of legislative elections, and economic recovery.
Incidentally, the 2010 presidential polls were held as part of international efforts to reunify Ivory Coast, which had been wrecked by a long-running civil war that split the country into government-controlled South and a rebel-held North in 2002. Prior to the civil war, Ivory Coast -- the world's biggest Cocoa exporter-- was seen as a model of enduring peace and prosperity.
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