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Security Council Discusses Ivorian Polls, Peace

On last leg of African trip, Security Council discusses Ivorian polls

9 June 2008 - The Security Council mission touring Africa met today with officials in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, where they discussed the ongoing peace process in the West African nation and the presidential election slated for later this year.

The delegation, led by Ambassador Michel Kafando of Burkina Faso, was briefed by Choi Yong Jin, the Secretary-General's Special Representative, and other senior officials of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (UNOCI).

Council members met with a cross-section of Ivorian civil society, with opposition figure Alassane Ouattara, with the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission and with military officials, including the UN Force Commander and the Chief of Staff of the Ivorian Army.

They also held meetings with the team in charge of the logistical preparations for the planned November presidential election and with the Special Representative of the Facilitator of the Ivorian peace process. A meeting with President Laurent Gbagbo is also planned.

The Council mission arrived in Côte d'Ivoire from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where it met on Saturday with President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa.

They discussed the reform of the security and judicial sectors, the disarmament and national reconciliation processes, and the implementation of the Goma Agreement between the Government and various armed groups, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.

"They also touched on continued UN-DRC cooperation, sexual violence and issues related to war crimes investigations by the International Criminal Court," she added.

On Sunday, the delegation visited a UN-run camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the north-eastern town of Goma and held discussions with the people living there, as well as with UN humanitarian staff working in the camp.

They also met with the Mixed Commission on the follow-up mechanism to the Goma Agreement and with representatives of female victims of sexual violence.

The Council team will return to New York tomorrow, having visited Djibouti, Sudan, Chad, DRC and Côte d'Ivoire on their 10-day trip.

ENDS

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