14 September 2006 Determining that the situation in Côte d’Ivoire continues to pose a threat to international peace and security, the United Nations Security Council today unanimously voted to extend the mandate of the three-person team monitoring the arms embargo against the West African country.
Under today’s resolution, the Group of Experts, which was established early last year to gather and analyze information on arms caches and flows in the region, will continue working through 15 December.
The Council also asked the Group to prepare an updated report on the effectiveness of the weapons ban, as well as on the success of other States’ efforts to prevent the import of rough diamonds from Côte d’Ivoire, which has been divided between government and rebel forces since fighting broke out in 2002. The Group will also report on any serious obstacles to the freedom of movement of the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).
Meanwhile, a UN expert is calling for full, independent investigation into last month’s dumping of toxic waste around the capital, Abidjan, that has reportedly killed at least six people and sickened thousands of others.
“The dumping of toxic products and wastes violates a wide range of human rights, including the right to life, the right to health and the right to adequate housing,” said Okechukwu Ibeanu, the Special UN Rapporteur on adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights.
Mr. Ibeanu called upon all concerned countries and parties “to immediately disclose all information on the exact content and composition of the toxic waste and any other information that could be used to save lives and treat persons that have been affected by the waste.”
He also called for the identification and prosecution of those responsible for the dumping, as well as compensation for the victims and their families.
Last week the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) quoted sources saying the as yet unidentified substances were dumped from a vessel, Probo Koala, on 19 August, and possibly exported illegally from Europe.