Friday, April 27, 2012
The United Nations Security Council yesterday renewed for another year the set of sanctions imposed on Côte d’Ivoire, while adjusting the arms embargo in light of the need for weapons and ammunition to train and equip the country’s security forces. In a unanimous resolution, the Council decided that the measures on arms and related materiel, first imposed in 2004, “shall no longer apply to the provision of training, advice and expertise related to security and military activities, as well as to the supplies of civilian vehicles to the Ivorian security forces.” In addition, the arms embargo is not to apply to supplies of or use by the peacekeeping mission there, the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), and the French forces who support them, or to non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, among other purposes.
The sanctions extended until April 30, 2013 also include the ban on the export of rough diamonds, the so-called “blood diamonds,” that have fuelled conflict in the region, and targeted measures on a number of individuals, including former president Laurent Gbagbo.
The Security Council also extended the mandate of the Group of Experts it set up to monitor the arms embargo, and reiterated the need for the Ivorian authorities to provide unhindered access to the group so it can carry out its work.
The Security Council first imposed the embargo in 2004 after a civil war in 2002 split the country into a rebel-held north and a Government-controlled south. Last year it imposed targeted financial and travel measures against Mr. Gbagbo and his associates after his refusal to leave office following his election defeat to current President Alassane Ouattara.
(mew) (adapted from a UN Press Release)