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Security Council Imposes Immediate Arms Embargo Against Côte d'Ivoire

Security Council Imposes Immediate Arms Embargo Against Côte d'Ivoire

New York -- (UNNC) November 15, 2004 -- Seeking to end the violence in Côte d'Ivoire, the United Nations Security Council today imposed an immediate, 13-month arms embargo against the country and gave the parties there one month to get the peace process back on track or face a travel ban and a freeze on their assets.

Under a resolution adopted unanimously, the additional sanctions will go into effect on 15 December unless the Council determines before then that the signatories of two peace deals are working to implement them. Those measures would remain for one year.

The 2003 Linas-Marcoussis accord halted fighting between the Government of President Laurent Gbagbo and rebels who control most of the north, and created a government of national reconciliation. The second pact, reached this summer in the Ghanaian capital and known as the Accra III Agreement, focused on those parts of the 2003 pact that were still in dispute.

The latest unrest flared up on 4 November when the Government violated the ceasefire by launching an attack in the Zone of Confidence (ZOC) separating combatants. On 6 November, Government aircraft bombed French peacekeepers in the area, killing nine people and leading to French reprisals that destroyed the tiny Ivorian air force. This in turn led to anti-foreigner rioting in Abidjan, the country's largest city.

The Council text condemned the Government air strikes and demanded that all Ivorian parties to the conflict fully comply with the ceasefire. It also reiterated the Council's full support for the action undertaken by the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) and French forces.

The 15-member body further demanded that the Ivorian authorities stop all radio and television broadcasts inciting hatred, intolerance and violence, and asked the UN peacekeeping mission to bolster its monitoring role in that regard.

The arms sanctions require all countries to prevent the "direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer" to Côte d'Ivoire of arms or any related materiel.

Pending progress, the Council will also ban anyone "who constitute a threat to the peace and national reconciliation process" from travelling abroad, and "freeze the funds, other financial assets and economic resources" of those designated by a Council committee set up to enforce the measures.

The resolution provides for a number of humanitarian exemptions designed to allow UN peacekeepers and relief workers to carry out their operations on behalf of the Ivorian people.

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).