|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6323rd Meeting (PM)
Security Council Authorizes Month-long Mandate Extension for United Nations
Operation in Côte d’Ivoire, Adopting Resolution 1924 (2010)
The Security Council today decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) until 30 June 2010, in its current configuration pending consideration of recommendations for its revision.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1924 (2010), the Council also decided to extend its authorization of the French forces supporting UNOCI until the same date, within the limits of their deployment and capabilities.
In his latest report on UNOCI, the Secretary-General’s expressed disappointment at setbacks in the Ivorian peace process and recommended adjusting the Mission’s current deployment to increase troop concentrations in high-risk areas and ensure better support for the peace process, particularly elections.
The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:10 p.m.
The full text of resolution 1924 (2010) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions, in particular resolutions 1911 (2010), and 1893 (2009), and the statements of its President relating to the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, and resolution 1885 (2009) on the situation in Liberia,
“Considering the need to examine thoroughly the recommendations for a revised mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) included in the report of the Secretary-General (S/2010/245) of 20 May 2010,
“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 extend until 30 June 2010 the mandate of UNOCI as determined in resolution 1739 (2007);
“2. Decides to extend until 30 June 2010 the authorization the Security Council provided to the French forces in order to support UNOCI, within the limits of their deployment and capabilities;
“3. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
The Security Council had before it the Twenty-fourth report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), which recommends a mandate adjustment to allow the operation to better focus on helping the parties implement the remaining priority tasks of the peace process, including disarmament, all aspects of the country’s reunification, and holding the long-stalled elections.
According to the report (document S/2010/245), events up to the end of 2009 had brought hope that Côte d’Ivoire was finally on a firm path towards resolving its protracted crisis following the 2002 civil war, which divided the country into a rebel-held north and Government-controlled south. The Ouagadougou Peace Agreement had put a framework in place that enabled the parties to make notable progress, with a general climate of stability prevailing, growing freedom of movement, and the identification and other election-related tasks nearing completion. There was genuine expectation that Côte d’Ivoire was steadily moving forward and that elections will be held early in 2010.
The report says the Secretary-General is therefore disappointed by the abrupt interruption of the electoral process in January 2010 and the resulting violence in February, which constitutes a severe setback to the peace process. Voter registration was suspended due to the violence and President Laurent Gbagbo dissolved the Government and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). Despite the establishment of a new Government and Electoral Commission since then, the electoral process remains stalled amid persistent differences over how to address fraud and resume the interrupted appeals process on the provisional voters’ list.
Noting the lack of progress in resolving the ensuing impasse, which has dragged on for almost five months, the report says it has led some to start questioning the relevance of the Ouagadougou framework. The Secretary-General appeals to all Ivorian parties to avoid taking any actions that may reverse the significant progress already made and plunge the country into renewed violence and instability. He recommends maintaining UNOCI until the end of the year — at the current total strength of both military and police components — “in order to give Côte d’Ivoire a chance to walk the final mile to the elections, with the full support of the United Nations”.
Among the options for subsequent reconfiguration of the Operation by a technical assessment mission, the Secretary-General recommends adjusting the current troop deployment so as to increase troop concentrations in identified high-risk areas. Under that option, the strength of the military and police components would be rebalanced by using existing room in the military component to add 50 police officers in order to reinforce the existing formed police units, in view of an anticipated increase in civil disturbances and demands for protection.
According to the report, UNOCI’s current combined total authorized strength would be maintained at 8,650 personnel, with an overall military strength of 7,392, comprising 7,200 troops and 192 military observers; an overall police strength of 1,250, consisting of 450 individual police officers and six formed police units for a total of 800 officers; and 8 seconded customs officers.
This option can be achieved rapidly while it addresses the threat of civil disturbances and strengthens the reserve troops in strife-prone sectors, the
Secretary-General says, reiterating that UNOCI should be strengthened for a period of at least three months prior to, and three months after, the elections. For that purpose, it will be necessary to reinforce uniformed personnel with up to 500 troops and police by increasing the operational elements of existing formed police units, and adding two infantry companies, as well as aviation elements.
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