SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, EXPRESSES DEEP CONCERN AT DECISION BY CÔTE D’IVOIRE PRESIDENT TO DISMISS OPPOSITION MINISTERS

25 May 2004
SC/8103

SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, EXPRESSES DEEP CONCERN AT DECISION BY CÔTE D’IVOIRE PRESIDENT TO DISMISS OPPOSITION MINISTERS

25/05/2004
Press ReleaseSC/8103

Security Council                                           

4977th Meeting (Night)                                      

security council, in presidential statement, expresses deep concern at decision

by côte d’ivoire president to dismiss opposition ministers

Strongly Condemns Human Rights Violations; Also Concerned

At Continuing Non-Participation of Opposition Parties in Reconciliation Government

The Security Council expressed its deep concern this evening at the recent announcement by President Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d’Ivoire that he would dismiss opposition ministers.

In a presidential statement (S/PRST/2004/17) read out by Council President Munir Akram (Pakistan), the Council also reiterated its concerns at the continuing non-participation of opposition parties in the Government of Reconciliation.

The Council considered that such decisions undermined the normal functioning of Ivorian institutions and resumption of dialogue between Ivorian parties, which was the basis of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement.

Recalling that it had endorsed that Agreement as the only solution to the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, the Council reaffirmed that it was the individual responsibility of the Ivorian actors to ensure its full implementation and reiterated its complete readiness to take any necessary further steps against individuals who blocked the Agreement’s full implementation.

The Council underlined that no concrete progress could be made in implementing the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement until the Government of National Reconciliation, composed on 13 March 2003 and completed on 12 September 2003, met again under the authority of the Prime Minister.

It reiterated its full support to Prime Minister Seydou Diarra, Head of the Government of National Reconciliation, and encouraged him to carry on his task until the completion of the peace process, as foreseen in the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement.

The Council strongly condemned the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in Côte d’Ivoire, including those that occurred in Abidjan on 25 and 26 March, and expressed its determination to ensure that those responsible were identified and that the Ivorian Government brought them to justice.

Further, the Council asked the Secretary-General to establish, as soon as possible, an international commission of inquiry, as recommended by the commission of inquiry of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and requested by the Ivorian Government, in order to investigate all human rights violations committed in the country since 19 September 2002, and determine responsibility.

It reiterated its demand that the Government bring to justice those responsible for those human rights violations.  It expressed its complete readiness to encourage possible international assistance to the Ivorian judicial authorities towards that goal and asked the Secretary-General to submit recommendations on the various possible options for such assistance.

The Council, recalling its decision to deploy the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) to support a peaceful settlement, leading to the organization in 2005 of open, free and transparent elections, expressed its deep concern at declarations of hate, in particular those addressed against UNOCI personnel.

It urged all Ivorian actors to refrain from any action or statement, especially in the media, which put at risk the security of United Nations personnel and, more globally, the process of national reconciliation.

Reaffirming the urgency of disbanding militias and armed groups, the Council firmly rejected the assertion that disarmament could be delayed until after the 2005 elections and called on all parties to move immediately to begin that process.

The meeting began at 6:58 p.m. and adjourned at 7:08 p.m.

Presidential Statement

Following is the full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2004/17:

“The Security Council reiterates its grave concern at the events which occurred in Côte d’Ivoire at the end of March and at the current impasse in the peace process defined in the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement,

“The Security Council recalls that it endorsed the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement which is the only solution to the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire,

“The Security Council reaffirms the individual responsibility of each of the Ivorian actors to ensure the full implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement.  It reiterates its complete readiness to take any necessary further steps, against individuals who block the full implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement,

“The Security Council takes note of the report of the commission of inquiry of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the events that occurred in Abidjan 25-26 March with deep concern.  It expresses its appreciation for the work by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,

“The Security Council strongly condemns the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in Côte d’Ivoire, including those that occurred in Abidjan 25-26 March, and expresses its determination to ensure that those responsible for all these violations are identified and that the Ivorian Government brings them to justice.  The Security Council expects President Laurent Gbagbo to comply fully with the commitment he has made in this regard, through the letter sent by the Permanent Representative of Côte d’Ivoire to the Security Council on 20 May 2004,

“The Security Council requests therefore the Secretary-General to establish as soon as possible the international commission of inquiry, as recommended by the commission of inquiry of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and requested by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, in order to investigate all human rights violations committed in Côte d’Ivoire since September 19, 2002, and determine responsibility.  The Security Council calls upon all the Ivorian parties to cooperate fully with this international commission of inquiry,

“The Security Council reiterates its demand for the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to bring to justice those responsible for these violations of human rights.  In this regard, it expresses its complete readiness to encourage possible international assistance to the Ivorian judicial authorities to this end and requests the Secretary-General to submit recommendations on the various possible options for such an assistance,

“The Security Council is deeply concerned by slogans and declarations of hate, in particular those addressed against the personnel of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), and urges all the Ivorian actors to refrain from any action or statement, especially in the media, which put at risk the security of United Nations personnel and, more globally, the process of national reconciliation.  The Security Council recalls the obligation of all Ivorian actors, in particular the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, to cooperate fully in the deployment and operations of UNOCI, which is there at the request of the Government, in particular by guaranteeing the safety, security and free movement of all United Nations personnel,

“The Security Council requests UNOCI to establish without delay its broadcasting capacity, as mandated in its resolution 1528 (2004) of 27 February 2004,

“The Security Council recalls that it decided, on the basis of the commitment of all Ivorian political forces to implement fully and without conditions the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, to deploy UNOCI to support the process of peaceful settlement of the crisis, which is to lead to the organization in 2005 of open, free and transparent elections,

“The Security Council underlines that no concrete progress can be made in the implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement until the Government of National Reconciliation composed on 13 March 2003 and completed on 12 September 2003 meets again under the authority of the Prime Minister,

“The Security Council is therefore deeply concerned by the recent announcement by President Gbagbo that he would dismiss opposition ministers.  The Security Council also reiterates its concerns at the continuing non-participation of the opposition parties in the Government of National Reconciliation.  The Security Council considers that such decisions undermine the normal functioning of Ivorian institutions and resumption of dialogue between Ivorian parties which is the basis of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement,

“The Security Council underscores the importance of having all relevant Ivorian parties to participate fully in the Government of National Reconciliation.  In this regard, the Security Council calls on all Ivorian parties to apply faithfully all the provisions of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, including those regarding the composition and the functioning of the Government of National Reconciliation, and to immediately resume political dialogue, with a view to ensuring the effective functioning of the Government of National Reconciliation,

“The Security Council reiterates its full support to Prime Minister Seydou Diarra, Head of the Government of National Reconciliation, and encourages him to carry on his task until the completion of the peace process, as foreseen in the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement,

“The Security Council recalls the importance it attaches to the early and full adoption of the constitutional and legislative reforms provided for in the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement,

“The Security Council takes note in this regard of the renewed commitment of President Laurent Gbagbo, in his message to the Nation on 18 May, to fully apply the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement and his request addressed to the Parliament to accelerate the achievement of the legislative reforms.  It is now expecting these commitments to be fulfilled in order that concrete steps can be undertaken to restore confidence,

“The Security Council also reaffirms the urgency of disbanding militias and armed groups and proceeding with operations to regroup the opposing forces in order to permit the start of disarmament and demobilization which must precede their reintegration into the regular army or civilian life,

“The Security Council firmly rejects the assertion that disarmament can be delayed until after the 2005 elections and calls on all parties to move immediately to begin this process,

“The Security Council underlines the responsibilities of the Monitoring Committee as the guarantor of the implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement and expresses its appreciation for further efforts it may undertake in order to overcome the current impasse in the peace process, as well as in supporting UNOCI to carry out its mandate,

“The Security Council calls on all parties to take immediate action to implement the steps above and emphasizes that these measures are essential to enable Côte d'Ivoire and Ivorians to return to the path to peace, stability and economic development.”

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For information media. Not an official record.