7 August 2006
Security Council
SC/8802

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5505th Meeting (AM)


IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, SECURITY COUNCIL STRESSES NEED FOR SPEEDY IMPLEMENTATION


OF VOTER IDENTIFICATION PROGRAMME IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE


Condemns Violence by Organized Groups, Obstructions

To Normal Functioning of Mobile Courts in Advance of Elections


With presidential elections fast approaching in Côte d’Ivoire, the Security Council today strongly condemned a recent attack against the High Representative for the Elections, and stressed the importance of speedy implementation of programmes to identify undocumented Ivorians and foreign residents, as well as operations to disarm militias, in order to ensure a free, fair and transparent poll within the agreed timetable.


In a statement (S/PRST/2006/37) read out by the Council’s President for August, Nana Effah-Apenteng (Ghana), the 15-nation body reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of the peace process and road map established by the International Working Group, which had called for the establishment of 50 mobile courts by 15 July -- as part of an identification programme necessary for voter registration -- and had set a 31 July deadline for the disbandment of armed militias.


The Council considered it necessary to deploy throughout the territory of Côte d’Ivoire as many mobile courts as possible, towards the objective of 150 mobile courts called for in the Prime Minister’s plan, and to complete the second phase of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, the cantonment of combatants, before the next meeting of the International Working Group.  The Prime Minister was encouraged to take all the necessary actions to that end, with the agreement of all Ivorian parties, as well as for the organization of elections set for late October.


Also, according to the statement, the Council was concerned that the Independent Electoral Commission structures had not been deployed throughout the country, as well as local offices of the National Commission of Supervision of the Identification, and urged the Ivorian parties to settle those issues without delay.


Strongly condemning the obstructions to the normal functioning of the mobile courts, the Council urged all parties to ensure that the mobile courts functioned “without further hindrance”.  It also expressed utmost concern and condemned the acts of violence committed by organized groups, in particular the Young Patriots, which had led to the deaths of civilians.


Condemning the incidents of 15 July at the premises of the Radio Télévision Ivoirienne (RTI), the Council called on the Ivorian authorities to strengthen security measures at RTI, and underlined the importance of guaranteeing the independence and neutrality of the media in Côte d’Ivoire.


Further, according to the statement, “The Security Council demands that the Defence and Security Forces of Côte d’Ivoire, including the Republican Guard, act within the law of the land at all times to ensure full security of the population, including foreigners, and support the implementation of the road map led by the Prime Minister.”


The Council also demanded that all Ivorian parties cooperate fully in the operations of the Impartial Forces, in particular by guaranteeing the safety, security and freedom of movement of their personnel, and affirmed that any obstacle to their freedom of movement or to the full implementation of their mandates will not be tolerated.


The meeting began at 11:41 a.m. and ended at 11:50 a.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2006/37 reads as follows:


“The Security Council affirms its commitment to the implementation of the peace process and of the road map established by the International Working Group (IWG).  It welcomes the initiatives of the Prime Minister, Charles Konan Banny, and the ongoing dialogue among President Laurent Gbagbo, the Prime Minister and all other Ivorian parties.


“The Security Council reiterates its full support for the Prime Minister.  It welcomes his determination to implement the decisions taken by all Ivorian parties at the high-level meeting held in Yamoussoukro on 5 July 2006.  It strongly encourages him to continue his efforts, and demands that all Ivorian parties cooperate with him fully and in good faith.


“The Security Council welcomes the launch of the mobile courts throughout Côte d’Ivoire, and the Prime Minister’s announcement of the completion of the pre-cantonment of the Defence and Security Forces of Côte d’Ivoire and of the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles.  The Security Council further welcomes the establishment of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) Monitoring Group, the measures taken to implement the quadripartite control of pre-cantonment operations and the beginning of operations to dismantle and disarm the militias.  It takes note of the signing of a presidential decree allowing the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to propose any technical adjustments to the electoral code for the transitional elections.


“The Security Council expresses its concern that the IEC’s structures have not been deployed throughout the country, as well as the local offices of the National Commission of Supervision of the Identification.  It urges the Ivorian parties to settle these issues without delay.


“The Security Council strongly condemns the obstructions to the normal functioning of the mobile courts, which followed the calls for such action made by political leaders, in particular the Chairman of the FPI and the President of the former National Assembly.  It notes that the procedures of the mobile courts were


decided in consultation with President Laurent Gbagbo.  It urges all parties to ensure that the mobile courts function without further hindrance.


“The Security Council expresses its utmost concern and condemns the acts of violence committed by organized groups, in particular the Young Patriots, which led to the deaths of civilians, and further condemns the attack of 24 July against the High Representative for the Elections, despite the presence of the Republican Guard at the scene.


“The Security Council condemns also the incidents of 15 July at the premises of the Radio Télévision Ivoirienne (RTI).  It calls on the Ivorian authorities to strengthen security measures at RTI.  It underlines the importance of guaranteeing the independence and neutrality of the media in Côte d’Ivoire.


“The Security Council reaffirms its support for the implementation of measures against those responsible as provided for in paragraphs 9 and 11 of resolution 1572 (2004) and underlines that the reports of the events described above will be examined by the Sanctions Committee established by paragraph 14 of resolution 1572 (2004).


“The Security Council demands that the Defence and Security Forces of Côte d’Ivoire, including the Republican Guard, act within the law of the land at all times to ensure full security of the population, including foreigners, and support the implementation of the road map led by the Prime Minister.  It reaffirms in this regard paragraphs 8 and 9 of resolution 1633 (2005).  It recalls that the Defence and Security Forces and the Forces Nouvelles must ensure the security of the mobile courts hearings in the areas under their control.


“The Security Council demands also that all Ivorian parties cooperate fully in the operations of the Impartial Forces, in particular by guaranteeing the safety, security and freedom of movement of their personnel, as well as associated personnel, throughout the territory of Côte d’Ivoire, and affirms that any obstacle to their freedom of movement or to the full implementation of their mandates will not be tolerated.  It recalls paragraph 4 of resolution 1643 (2005) in this regard.


“The Security Council reaffirms the importance of the concomitant implementation of the identification and DDR operations, and of the acceleration by all Ivorian parties of the implementation of the road map, in order to create the conditions indispensable for the holding of free, open, fair and transparent elections within the agreed timetable.


“The Security Council therefore considers that it is necessary to deploy throughout the territory of Côte d’Ivoire as many mobile courts as possible, towards the objective of 150 mobile courts called for in the Prime Minister’s plan and to complete the second phase of the DDR programme, the cantonment of combatants, before the next meeting of the IWG.  It encourages the Prime Minister to take all the necessary actions to this end, with the agreement of all Ivorian parties, as well as for the organization of the elections.  It calls on the IWG to monitor such progress and to report to it on its assessment of the progress made.


“The Security Council expresses its full support for the IWG and endorses its ninth communiqué, dated 20 July 2006.  It reiterates its full support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the High Representative for the Elections.”


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