UN envoys for Côte dIvoire peace to meet African Union mediators

The UN Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) said that before the two left for Pretoria the Secretary-General’s Special Representative (SRSG) and UNOCI chief, Pierre Schori, and the UN election representative, Antonio Monteiro, met yesterday with the Forces Nouvelles in Bouaké, north of the capital. Both envoys have scheduled meetings with Mr. Mbeki in Pretoria to discuss the implementation of the peace plan and the preparations for the elections, which are scheduled for 30 October. Early last month the Security Council noted the Declaration on the implementation of the Pretoria Agreement on the peace process in Côte d’Ivoire, signed on 29 June in Pretoria under the auspices of Mr. Mbeki, the African Union (AU) mediator. The agreement was an effort of the Ivorian parties to revive a peace process after talks faltered in April on setting a timetable for elections and disarmament. The Council also affirmed its readiness, in close consultation with the AU Mediation, to implement individual sanctions in a resolution which gave Ivorian parties one month to get the peace process back on track, or face a travel ban and asset freeze. Fighting erupted in Côte d’Ivoire in 2002 when rebels seeking to oust President Laurent Gbagbo seized the north, dividing the world’s largest cocoa producer in two. The Security Council set up UNOCI last year to help maintain a ceasefire between Government forces, ruling the south of the country, and the Forces Nouvelles, controlling the north.

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