SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS UN MISSION IN COTE D’IVOIRE UNTIL 27 FEBRUARY

4 February 2004
SC/7998

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS UN MISSION IN COTE D’IVOIRE UNTIL 27 FEBRUARY

04/02/2004
Press ReleaseSC/7998

Security Council                                           

4909th Meeting (AM)                                         

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS UN MISSION IN COTED’IVOIRE UNTIL 27 FEBRUARY

Resolution 1527 (2004) Adopted Unanimously

The Security Council decided this morning to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (MINUCI) until 27 February 2004.

In a unanimous action under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council also decided to renew until the same date its authorization of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) forces, as well as the French forces supporting them.

By other terms of resolution 1527 (2004), the Council requested the Secretary-General, pending a decision on the reinforcement of the United Nations presence in Côte d’Ivoire, to prepare the deployment of a possible peacekeeping operation within five weeks after such a decision by the Council.

This morning’s meeting began at 11:16 a.m. and adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

Resolution

Following is the full text of Council resolution 1527 (2004):

“The Security Council,

“Reaffirming its previous resolutions concerning Côte d’Ivoire, in particular its resolutions 1514 (2003) of 13 November 2003 and 1498 (2003) of 4 August 2003and 1464 (2003) of 4 February 2003,

“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 cooperation in relations between the States of the region,

“Reaffirming also its endorsement of the agreement signed by the Ivorian political forces at Linas-Marcoussis on 24 January 2003 (S/2003/99) (“Linas-Marcoussis Agreement”), approved by the Conference of Heads of State on Côte d’Ivoire held in Paris on 25 and 26 January 2003,

“Stressing the importance of the complete and unconditional implementation of the measures provided for under the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, and taking note with satisfaction of the progress made recently in this regard,

“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 Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (ECOMICI) in order to stabilize the country as well as the commitment of the African Union in supporting the process of national reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire,

“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,

“Noting the need for MINUCI to continue carrying out its mandate as outlined in its resolution 1479 (2003),

“Affirming its readiness to consider the recommendations in the Secretary-General’s report of 6 January 2004 (S/2004/3) as well as the need for a coordination of the United Nations efforts in West Africa,

Noting with concern the continued existence of challenges to the stability of Côte d’Ivoire and determining that the situation in Côte d’Ivoire continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

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

“1.   Decides that the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire, MINUCI, shall be extended until 27 February 2004,

“2.   Decides to renew until 27 February 2004 the authorization given to Member States participating in ECOWAS forces together with French Forces supporting them,

“3.   Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary-General on Côte d’Ivoire of 6 January 2004,

“4.   Calls on the signatories of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement to carry out expeditiously their responsibilities under the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement,

“5.   Further calls on the signatories to take the steps called for by the Secretary-General in paragraph 86 of his report, and expresses its readiness to help them to achieve lasting peace and stability,

“6.   Requests the Secretary-General, pending a decision by the Security Council on the reinforcement of the United Nations presence in Côte d’Ivoire as recommended by paragraph 61 of the Secretary-General’s report, to prepare the deployment of a possible peacekeeping operation within five weeks after such decision by the Council,

7.    Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

Background

When the Security Council met this morning, it had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1514 (2003) of 13 November 2003 (document S/2004/3).  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 armees 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.  The report says 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.

The report states that 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 report continues.  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 completes 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 concerning 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, the report states.  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.

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For information media. Not an official record.