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Côte d’Ivoire Mission Condemns Call for Coup

UN Mission In Côte d’Ivoire Condemns Declarations Calling For A Coup

New York, Aug 23 2005 5:00PM

The United Nations mission in Côte d’Ivoire today denounced declarations calling for a coup in the West African country as exacerbating existing social and political tensions and impeding efforts to restore peace and stability to the divided country.

With presidential elections scheduled for 30 October, the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) said the declarations were designed “to endanger the untiring efforts of the African Union’s (AU) mediator and other key international actors to restore peace and stability in the country.”

Published news reports say dismissed General Mathias Doué, who was in an undisclosed location abroad for several months, issued the threats against President Laurent Gbagbo’s Government.

South African President Thabo Mbeki has been conducting negotiations on the AU’s behalf to consolidate the Linas-Marcoussis peace agreements, which ended bitter fighting against Mr. Gbagbo’s Government and which Government and major rebel leaders signed in France in 2003.

“UNOCI is launching an urgent appeal to all Ivorian parties to show their restraint and prove that they are consulting the mechanisms provided in the Peace Accords for the resolution of any of their remaining differences as they try to come out of the existing crisis,” the mission said in today’s statement.

It reminded the parties that any incitement to hate, exclusion, intolerance and disturbance of the political process could make the fomenting party subject to Security Council sanctions. In this regard, it said, it would continue to report any impediments to the peace process to the Council.

The main rebel group, Forces Nouvelles (FN), which controls the predominantly Muslim north of the country, told UNOCI chief Pierre Schori in June that, despite the increased involvement of the UN in organizing the elections, the basic problems that led to its failed coup attempt in 2002, including the dispute over citizenship qualifications for presidential candidates, have not been resolved.

In addition, Mr. Gbagbo unilaterally chose the October date, FN said then.

ENDS

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