27/02/2004
Press Release
SC/8012



Security Council                                           

4918th Meeting (AM)                                         


SECURITY COUNCIL ESTABLISHES PEACEKEEPING OPERATION IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE,


UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1528 (2004)


Secretary-General Commends Decision;

6,240 Strong Force to Be Deployed as of 4 April


The Security Council this morning, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, established the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) for an initial period of 12 months, from 4 April.


Unanimously adopting resolution 1528 (2004), the Council also requested the Secretary-General to transfer authority from the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (MINUCI) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) forces to UNOCI on that date, and decided, ,therefore, to renew MINUCI’s mandate until 4 April.


The Council also decided to renew until 4 April the authorization given to the French forces and ECOWAS forces through its resolution 1527, as well as authorized the French forces to use all necessary means to support UNOCI in accordance with the agreement to be reached between UNOCI and the French authorities.


Comprising a military strength of a maximum of 6,240 United Nations personnel, UNOCI’s mandate, in coordination with the French forces, will include observing and monitoring the implementation of the comprehensive ceasefire agreement of 3 May 2003 and movements of armed groups; assistance in disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, repatriation and resettlement; protection of United Nations personnel, institutions and civilians; support for humanitarian assistance, implementation of the peace process; and assistance in the field of human rights, public information and law and order.


Commending the Council’s decision, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Côte d’Ivoire would send a clear message that the international community supported the Ivorian peace process and was determined to play its role in the maintenance of peace and security in Africa.  A strengthened United Nations presence in Côte d’Ivoire would, among other things, make it easier for the Government of National Reconciliation to implement the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme; facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance an the restoration of State authority throughout the country; and help the country prepare for the holding of general elections in 2005.


There was no doubt, he added, that the deployment of a United Nations operation in Côte d’Ivoire would also have a positive impact on the efforts to stabilize the West Africa subregion as a whole.  He was pleased that the various United Nations offices in the subregion had already begun to work in close cooperation.  In that context, he intended to present proposals concerning a residual United Nations presence in Sierra Leone in his next report to the Council in March.


The meeting began at 10:16 a.m. and ended at 10:27 a.m.


Council Resolution


The full text of resolution 1528 (2004) is as follows:


The Security Council,


Recalling its resolutions 1464 (2003) of 4 February 2003, 1479 (2003) of 13 May 2003, 1498 (2003) of 4 August 2003, 1514 (2003) of 13 November 2003, 1527 (2004) of 4 February 2004,and the statements by its President on Côte d’Ivoire,


Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of Côte d’Ivoire, and recalling the importance of the principles of good neighbourliness, non-interference and regional cooperation,


Recalling that it endorsed the agreement signed by the Ivorian political forces in Linas-Marcoussis on 24 January 2003 (S/2003/99) (the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement) approved by the Conference of Heads of States on Côte d’Ivoire, held in Paris on 25 and 26 January 2003,


Taking note with satisfaction of the recent progress, in particular the return of the Forces Nouvelles to the Government, the agreement reached on the implementation of the programme of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and the talks between the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Forces nouvelles,


Considering that the Ivorian parties have made the progress called for by the Secretary-General towards the steps mentioned in paragraph 86 of his report on Côte d'Ivoire of 6 January 2004 (S/2004/3), as confirmed to the Council on 4 February 2004, and encouraging the Ivorian parties to continue their efforts in that direction,


Calling on the parties and the Government of National Reconciliation to take all necessary steps to prevent further violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and to put an end to impunity,


Reaffirming also its resolutions 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, 1379 (2001) and 1460 (2003) on children in armed conflicts as well as its resolutions 1265 (1999) and 1296 (2000) on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts,


Welcoming and encouraging efforts by the United Nations to sensitize peacekeeping personnel in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases in all its peacekeeping operations,


Deeply concerned by the deteriorating economic situation in Côte d’Ivoire and its serious impact on the subregion as a whole,


Welcoming the commitment of the African Union in supporting the process of national reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire,


Recalling its full support for the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and France to promote a peaceful settlement of the conflict, and welcoming, in particular, the effective action taken by the ECOWAS forces in order to stabilize the country,


Taking note of the message addressed to the Security Council on 10 November 2003 by the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, in which he requested the transformation of the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (MINUCI) into a peacekeeping operation,


Taking note of the request made by ECOWAS to the Security Council on 24 November 2003 to establish a peace keeping operation in Côte d’Ivoire,


Noting that lasting stability in Côte d’Ivoire will depend on peace in the subregion, especially in Liberia, and emphasizing the importance of cooperation among the countries of the subregion to this end, as well as the need for co-ordination of the efforts of the United Nations Missions in the subregion to contribute to the consolidation of peace and security,


“Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on Côte d’Ivoire of  6 January 2004 (S/2004/3 and addenda 1 and 2),


Taking note of the letter of the President of the General Assembly of 8 January 2004 (S/2004/100) addressed to the President of the Security Council,


Aware of the persistent challenges to the stability of Côte d’Ivoire and determining that the situation in Côte d’Ivoire continues to pose a threat to international peace and security in the region,


Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,


“1.   Decides to establish the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) for an initial period of 12 months as from 4 April 2004, and requests the Secretary-General to transfer authority from MINUCI and the ECOWAS forces to UNOCI on that date, and decides therefore to renew the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (MINUCI) until 4 April 2004;


“2.   Decides that UNOCIwill comprise, in addition to the appropriate civilian, judiciary and corrections component, a military strength of a maximum of 6,240 United Nations personnel, including 200 military observers and 120 staff officers, and up to 350 civilian police officers, as required to perform the mandated tasks described in the following paragraph 4;


2.bis. Requests the Secretary-General to encourage the United Nations missions in West Africa to share logistic and administrative support, to the extent possible, without prejudicing their operational capabilities with respect to their mandates, in order to maximize effectiveness and minimize the cost of the missions;


“2.ter. Requests UNOCI to carry out its mandate in close liaison with the United Nations missions in Sierra Leone and in Liberia, including especially in the prevention of movementsof arms and combatants across shared borders and the implementation of disarmament and demobilization programmes;


“3.   Reaffirms its strong support for the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and approves his full authority for the coordination and conduct of all the activities of the United Nations system in Côte d’Ivoire;


“4.   Decides that the mandate of UNOCI, in coordination with the French forces authorized in paragraph 11 below, shall be the following:


Monitoring of the ceasefire and movements of armed groups


(a)   To observe and monitor the implementation of the comprehensive ceasefire agreement of 3 May 2003, and investigate violations of the ceasefire,


(b)   To liaise with the National Armed Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FANCI) and the military elements of the Forces Nouvelles in order to promote, in coordination with the French forces, the re-establishment of trust between all the Ivorian forces involved, as stated in its resolution 1479 (2003),


(c)   To assist the Government of National Reconciliation in monitoring the borders, with particular attention to the situation of Liberian refugees and to the movement of combatants,


Disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, repatriation and resettlement


(d)   To assist the Government of National Reconciliation in undertaking the regrouping of all the Ivorian forces involved and to ensure the security of their cantonment sites,


(e)   To help the Government of National Reconciliation implement the national programme for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of the combatants (DDR), with special attention to the specific needs of women and children,


(f)   To coordinate closely with the United Nations missions in Sierra Leone and in Liberia in the implementation of a voluntary repatriation and resettlement programme for foreign ex-combatants, with special attention to the specific needs of women and children, in support of the efforts of the Government of National Reconciliation and in cooperation with the Governments concerned, relevant international financial institutions, international development organizations and donor nations,


(g)   To ensure that the programmes mentioned in paragraphs (e) and (f) take into account the need for a regional approach,


(h)   To guard weapons, ammunition and other military matériel handed over by the former combatants and to secure,neutralize or destroy such materiel,


Protection of United Nations personnel, institutions and civilians


(i)   To protect United Nations personnel, installations and equipment, provide the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel and, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of National Reconciliation, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, within its capabilities and its areas of deployment,


(j)   To support, in coordination with the Ivorian authorities, the provision of security for the ministers of the Government of National Reconciliation,


Support for humanitarian assistance


(k)   To facilitate the free flow of people, goods and humanitarian assistance, inter alia, by helping to establish the necessary security conditions,


Support for the implementation of the peace process


(l)   To facilitate, in cooperation with ECOWAS and other international partners, the re-establishment by the Government of National Reconciliation of the authority of the State throughout Côte d’Ivoire,


(m)   To provide oversight, guidance and technical assistance to the Government of National Reconciliation, with the assistance of ECOWAS and other international partners, to prepare for and assist in the conduct of free, fair and transparent electoral processes linked to the implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, in particular the presidential election,


Assistance in the field of human rights


(n)   To contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire with special attention to violence committed against women and girls, and to help investigate human rights violations with a view to help ending impunity,


Public information


(o)   To promote understanding of the peace process and the role of UNOCI among local communities and the parties, through an effective public information capacity, including the establishment as necessary of a United Nations radio broadcasting capability,


Law and order


(p)   To assist the Government of National Reconciliation in conjunction with ECOWAS and other international organizations in restoring a civilian policing presence throughout Côte d’Ivoire, and to advise the Government of National Reconciliation on the restructuring of the internal security services,


(q)   To assist the Government of National Reconciliation in conjunction with ECOWAS and other international organizations in re-establishing the authority of the judiciary and the rule of law throughout Côte d’Ivoire;


“4.bis. Requests the Secretary-General to give special attention to the gender and child-protection components within the staff of UNOCI;


“5.   Authorizes UNOCI to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate, within its capabilities and its areas of deployment;

“6.   Requests the Secretary-General and the Government of National Reconciliation to conclude a status-of-force agreement within 30 days of adoption of this resolution, taking into consideration General Assembly resolution 58/82 on the scope of legal protection under the Convention on the safety of United Nations and associated personnel, and notes that, pending the conclusion of such an agreement, the model status-of-forces agreement dated 9 October 1990 (A/45/594) shall apply provisionally;


“7.   Stresses the importance of the complete and unconditional implementation of the measures provided for under the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, and demands that the parties fulfil their obligations under theLinas-Marcoussis Agreement so that, in particular, the forthcoming Presidential election can be held in 2005 in accordance with the constitutional deadlines,


“7.bis. Calls upon all parties to cooperate fully in the deployment and operations of UNOCI, in particular by guaranteeing the safety, security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel as well as associated personnel throughout the territory of Côte d’Ivoire;


“7.ter. Reaffirms, in particular, the need for the Government of National Reconciliation to undertake the complete and immediate implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme, including the disbanding of all armed groups, in particular the militias, the curbing of all kinds of disruptive street protests, especially of the various youth groups, and the restructuring of the armed forces and the internal security services,


“8.   Urges the international community to continue considering how it might help further economic development in Côte d’Ivoire with a view to achieving long-term stability in Côte d’Ivoire and the whole subregion,


“9.   Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council regularly informed of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, the implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement and the implementation of the mandate of UNOCI, and to report to it in this regard every three months, including a review of the troop level with a view to a phasing down in light of the progress achieved on the ground and the remaining tasks to be fulfilled;


“10.  Decides to renew until 4 April 2004 the authorization given to the French forces and ECOWAS forces through its resolution 1527 (2004);


“11.  Authorizes for a period of 12 months from 4 April 2004 the French forces to use all necessary means in order to support UNOCI in accordance with the agreement to be reached between UNOCI and the French authorities, and in particular to:


-- Contribute to the general security of the area of activity of the international forces,


-- Intervene at the request of UNOCI in support of its elements whose security may be threatened,


-- Intervene against belligerent actions, if the security conditions so require, outside the areas directly controlled by UNOCI,


–- Help to protect civilians, in the deployment areas of their units;


“12.  Requests France to continue to report to it periodically on all aspects of its mandate in Côte d’Ivoire;


“13.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”


Summary of Secretary-General’s Statement


Secretary-General KOFI ANNAN commended the Council for adopting the resolution, saying Côte d’Ivoire had come a long way from the crisis that had erupted in September 2002.  The conclusion of the Linas-Marcoussis Peace Agreement in January 2003 was an important achievement.  For most of last year, progress in the peace process had been mixed with many delays in implementing the Agreement.  Recently, however, the Ivoirian parties had taken some significant steps in the right direction.  He was particularly encouraged that last December the parties had completed the quartering of heavy weapons.  The lifting of checkpoints established by the Forces armées nationals de Côte d’Ivoire (FANCI) and the Forces nouvelles was close to completion, and the parties had recently agreed on arrangements to implement the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation programme.


Another positive development since the return of the Forces nouvelles to the Government of National Reconciliation on 6 January was that the Council of Ministers had begun considering the draft legislation and other reforms envisaged in the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement.  He commended President Gbagbo and Prime Minister Diarra for taking, together with the Forces nouvelles, important political initiatives which had opened the way out of the impasse in the peace process and urged them to continue working closely together.  Some hard-line elements among the various Ivorian parties, who remained determined to undermine the peace process, must not be allowed to succeed.  The international community must support those who were working to promote peace in Côte d’Ivoire.


He noted that in his January report he had recommended the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation.  The establishment of such an operation would send a clear message that the international community supported the Ivorian peace process and was determined to play its role in the maintenance of peace and security in Africa.  A strengthened United Nations presence in Côte d’Ivoire would, among other things, make it easier for the Government of National Reconciliation to implement the DDR programme; facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance and the restoration of State authority throughout the country; and help the country prepare for the holding of general elections in 2005.


There was no doubt that the deployment of a United Nations operation in Côte d’Ivoire would also have a positive impact on efforts to stabilize the West Africa subregion as a whole, he continued.  He was pleased that the various United Nations offices in the subregion had already begun to work in close cooperation.  In that context, he intended to present proposals concerning a residual United Nations presence in Sierra Leone in his next report to the Council in March.


The operation in Côte d’Ivoire came at a time when other United Nations and non-United Nations operations required significant additional resources, he said.  He hoped the international community would provide all the necessary resources for the operation to be effective.  The progress made by the Ivorian parties in recent weeks had given fresh impetus to the peace progress and the adoption of the resolution showed that the international community was determined to support the process.  (For full text of statement, see Press Release SG/SM/9173-SC/8013-AFR/852 issued today.)


Background


When the Security Council met, it had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Cote d’Ivoire submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1514 (2003) of 13 November 2003 (documents S/2004/3 and Addenda 1 and 2).  The report states that the prolonged political stalemate in Côte d’Ivoire could have taken a turn for the worse with the recent attempt by the Young Patriots and elements of the Forces armées nationales de Côte d’Ivoire (FANCI) to cross the ceasefire line and launch attacks on the Forces nouvelles.


The decisive action taken by the French forces (Licorne) to resolve that regrettable incident demonstrated the indispensable role being performed by both the Licorne and the Economic Community of West African States Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (ECOMICI) forces in preventing Côte d’Ivoire from sliding back into conflict.  It is clear that there are hard-line elements among the Ivorian parties who are determined to undermine the peace process and who are tempted to seek a military solution to the crisis.  It is essential that the international community provide support to the efforts of those who are working to promote the effective implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement.


It was in that context that the Ivorian parties were told that if they wished to receive the full support of the international community, including the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force and the reinforced United Nations presence they have unanimously called for, they would have to take the country out of the political impasse that has plagued it over the past three months, engage in a viable peace process and demonstrate their commitment to implement the provisions of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement fully and in good faith. 


Therefore, it is encouraging to note that President Gbagbo and Prime Minister Diarra have taken commendable initiatives in meeting with the Forces nouvelles in Yamoussoukro and Bouaké to discuss ways of keeping the peace process on track.  The steps taken so far by the Forces nouvelles and FANCI to implement the decisions of the Yamoussoukro and Bouaké meetings, as well as the recent return of the Forces nouvelles to the Government, are beginning to give the peace process fresh impetus.


However, there should be no illusions, states the report.  These are but initial steps in the right direction.  The Ivorian parties and their leaders must now proceed to address some fundamental issues in order to ensure that the peace process becomes irreversible.  To that end, the parties must take the following steps:  the Forces nouvelles need to reaffirm their commitment to remain part of the Government of National Reconciliation until the Government complete its programme of work and elections are held in 2005; FANCI and the Forces nouvelles must complete their implementation of the decisions taken at the recent meetings in Yamoussoukro and Bouaké; the Ivorian parties concerned must take steps to disband the militias and curb the disruptive activities of the various youth groups; and the Government must complete its consideration of the package of reforms envisaged in the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, in particular, those relating to article 35 of the Constitution, nationality, land tenure, electoral matters and the media and human rights.


In this connection, the Secretary-General recommends that, should the Ivorian parties make sufficient progress in carrying out these important steps by 4 February 2004 (the date on which the mandates of MINUCI, ECOMICI and Licorne expire), the Security Council consider authorizing the deployment of a multidimensional United Nations peacekeeping operation to support the peace process in Côte d’Ivoire.  The peacekeeping operation would comprise a military component with a troop strength of 6,240, including 200 military observers and 120 staff officers, and a civilian component consisting of enhanced electoral, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, human rights, public information, civil affairs, political, civilian police and judicial components.


On the basis of lessons learned in establishing other peacekeeping operations, and considering the needs of recently established, as well as anticipated, operations, the Secretary-General stresses that the issue of resources is critical.  The Secretariat has recently encountered challenges in securing in a timely manner adequately equipped military contingents and police personnel for United Nations peacekeeping operations, as well as the enabling capacities and force multipliers that allow such military and police deployments to be fully effective.  The proposed operation poses particular challenges with regard to force generation, obtaining the required police personnel and the depleted strategic deployment stocks, especially because it comes at a time when recently established operations, as well as anticipated ones, are competing for limited resources.


In this connection, there is concern that Member States may not come forward in a timely manner with all the resources required for the operation.  Should the Security Council approve the above recommendation, it would be essential for the Council and troop-contributing countries to ensure that the requisite resources were made available, but not at the expense of other missions, which also require a major and sustained effort.  In addition, it would not be prudent to expect the reassignment of ECOMICI contingents to begin sooner than three to four months from now.


* *** *