SECURITY COUNCIL ESTABLISHES CÔTE D’IVOIRE MISSION FOR
SIX MONTHS, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1479 (2003)
NEW YORK, 13 May (UN Headquarters) -- Determining that the situation in Côte d’Ivoire was a threat to international peace and security in the region, the Security Council today decided to establish a United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (MINUCI) for an initial period of six months.
Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1479 (2003), the Council authorized the new Mission to facilitate implementation by the Ivorian parties of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, signed by the political forces on 24 January. The Mission would include a military component on the basis of option (b) in the Secretary-General’s report of 26 March, complementing the operations of the French and the forces of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Option (b) refers to deploying a military liaison group, to be co-located with the field headquarters of the French and ECOWAS forces, as well as those of the government and rebel forces.
The Council stressed that the military liaison group should initially include 26 military officers and that up to 50 additional officers might be progressively deployed when the Secretary-General determines that there was a need and security conditions permitted.
The tasks of the military liaison group would include: advising the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on military matters; monitoring the military situation, including the security of Liberian refugees; and establishing liaison with the French and ECOWAS forces, as well as with the Forces armées nationales de Côte d’Ivoire (FANCI) and the forces nouvelle, in order to build confidence and trust between the armed groups, in cooperation with the French and ECOWAS forces, in particular, concerning helicopters and combat aircraft.
The military Liaison group would also be mandated to provide input to forward planning on disengagement, disarmament and demobilization and identifying future tasks, in order to advise the Government and support the French and ECOWAS forces. It would report to the Special Representative on the above issues.
Along with welcoming the complete ceasefire reached on 3 May between FANCI and the forces nouvelles for the entire territory of Côte d’Ivoire, in particular, the West, Council members also welcomed the intention of ECOWAS forces and the French forces to lend their full support in the implementation of the ceasefire.
In addition to the military liaison group, the Council approved the establishment of a small staff to support the Special Representative on political, legal, civil affairs, civilian police, elections, media and public relations, humanitarian and human rights issues.
The Council also stressed the importance of the regional dimension of the conflict and its consequences for neighbouring States and invited the donor community to help the neighbouring States to face the humanitarian and economic consequences of the crisis.
The meeting began at 5:06 p.m. and was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.
The full text of the resolution follows:
"The Security Council,
"Reaffirming its resolution 1464 (2003) of 4 February 2003, the statement by its President of 20 December 2002 (S/PRST/2002/42), as well as its resolutions 1460 (2003) of 30 January 2003 and 1467 (2003) of 18 March 2003,
"Reaffirming also its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of Côte d’Ivoire and reaffirming also its opposition to any attempts to seize power by unconstitutional means,
"Recalling the importance of the principles of good-neighbourliness, non-interference and regional cooperation,
"Further recalling its full support for the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and France to promote a peaceful settlement of the conflict, and reiterating its appreciation for the efforts of the African Union to reach a settlement,
"Reaffirming its endorsement of the agreement signed by the Ivorian political forces at Linas-Marcoussis on 24 January 2003 (S/2003/99) ("Linas-Marcoussis Agreement"), approved by the Conference of Heads of State on Côte d’Ivoire held in Paris on 25 and 26 January,
"Noting with satisfaction the conclusions reached at the meeting in Accra, 6-8 March 2003, under the chairmanship of the President of Ghana, the current presidency of ECOWAS,
"Noting with satisfaction the appointment of the Government of National Reconciliation and the cabinet meeting on 3 April 2003, attended by all the constituent political groups, in the presence of the Presidents of Ghana, Nigeria and Togo,
"Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General on 26 March 2003 (S/2003/374) and the recommendations therein,
"Noting the existence of challenges to the stability of Côte d’Ivoire and determining that the situation in Côte d’Ivoire constitutes a threat to international peace and security in the region,
"1. Reaffirms its strong support for the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and approves his full authority for the coordination and conduct of all the activities of the United Nations system in Côte d’Ivoire;
"2. Decides to establish, for an initial period of six months, a United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (MINUCI), with a mandate to facilitate the implementation by the Ivorian parties of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, and including a military component on the basis of option (b) identified in the Secretary-General’s report, complementing the operations of the French and ECOWAS forces;
"3. Approves the establishment of a small staff to support the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on political, legal, civil affairs, civilian police, elections, media and public relations, humanitarian and human rights issues, and the establishment of a military liaison group whose tasks shall include:
-- Providing advice to the Special Representative on military matters;
-- Monitoring the military situation, including the security of Liberian refugees and reporting to the Special Representative thereon;
-- Establishing liaison with the French and ECOWAS forces for the purpose of advising the Special Representative on military and related developments;
-- Establishing also liaison with the Forces armées nationales de Côte d’Ivoire (FANCI) and the forces nouvelles, in order to build confidence and trust between the armed groups, in cooperation with the French and ECOWAS forces, in particular concerning helicopters and combat aircraft;
-- Providing input to forward planning on disengagement, disarmament and demobilization and identifying future tasks, in order to advise the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and support the French and ECOWAS forces;
-- Reporting to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the above issues;
"4. Stresses that the military liaison group should be initially composed of 26 military officers and that up to 50 additional officers may be progressively deployed when the Secretary-General determines that there is a need and that security conditions permit;
"5. Requests that in addition to the recommendations made in the Secretary-General’s report regarding the organization of MINUCI, in particular its reference to the human rights components of the mission, special attention be given to the gender component within the staff of MINUCI and to the situation of women and girls, consistent with resolution 1325 (2000);
"6. Renews its appeal to all Ivorian political forces to implement fully and without delay the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement and invites the government of national reconciliation to this end to develop a timetable for implementing the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement and to communicate this timetable to the Monitoring Committee;
"7. Recalls the importance of sparing no effort, in keeping with the spirit of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, to enable the Government of National Reconciliation fully to exercise its mandate during this transitional period;
"8. Emphasizes again the need to bring to justice those responsible for the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that have taken place in Côte d’Ivoire since 19 September 2002, and reiterates its demand that all Ivorian parties take all the necessary measures to prevent further violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, particularly against civilian populations whatever their origins;
"9. Stresses the importance of an early start to the process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration;
"10. Requests all Ivorian parties to cooperate with MINUCI in the execution of its mandate, to ensure the freedom of movement of its personnel throughout the country and the unimpeded and safe movement of the personnel of humanitarian agencies, and to support efforts to find safe and durable solutions for refugees and displaced persons;
"11. Requests the ECOWAS forces and the French forces, in the execution of their mandate in accordance with resolution 1464 (2003), to continue to work in close consultation with the Special Representative and the Monitoring Committee, and to continue to report to the Council periodically on all aspects of the implementation of their respective mandates;
"12. Welcomes the complete ceasefire reached on 3 May between FANCI and the forces nouvelles for the entire territory of Côte d’Ivoire, in particular the West, and welcomes the intention of ECOWAS forces and the French forces to lend their full support in the implementation of this ceasefire;
"13. Renews its appeal to all the States in the region to support the peace process by refraining from any action that might undermine the security and territorial integrity of Côte d’Ivoire, particularly the movement of armed groups and mercenaries across their borders and the illicit trafficking and proliferation in the region of arms, especially small arms and light weapons;
"14. Urges all Ivorian parties to refrain from any recruitment or use of mercenaries or foreign military units and expresses its intention to consider possible actions to address this issue;
"15. Demands that, in accordance with its resolution 1460 (2003), all parties to the conflict who are recruiting or using children in violation of the international obligations applicable to them, immediately halt such recruitment or use of children;
"16. Emphasizes again the urgent need to provide logistic and financial support to the ECOWAS force including through an appropriate trust fund established by ECOWAS to this effect, and calls on the member States to provide substantial international aid to meet the emergency humanitarian needs and permit the reconstruction of the country, and in this context stresses that the return of internally displaced persons, particularly to the north of the country, would be important for the process of reconstruction;
"17. Stresses the importance of the regional dimension of the conflict and its consequences for neighbouring States and invites the donor community to help the neighbouring States to face the humanitarian and economic consequences of the crisis;
"18. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every three months on the implementation of this resolution and to provide monthly updates;
"19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
When the Security Council met this afternoon, it had before it the Secretary-General’s report on Côte d’Ivoire (documents S/2003/374 and Add.1), containing, among other things, recommendations on the role the United Nations could play to facilitate the implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement of 23 January, including the possible establishment of a mission there. It also had before it an addendum to that report (document S/2003/374/Add.1) discussing the financial implications of a decision to establish a new mission.
After giving an overview of events that led to the outbreak of hostilities in Côte d’Ivoire on 19 September 2002, the report describes subsequent efforts to come to a ceasefire, including the involvement of France and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), leading up to the round-table meeting of Ivorian groups at Linas-Marcoussis, France, from 15 to 23 January with the participation of the Ivorian Popular Front, the Movement of Future Forces (MFA), the Movement for Justice and Peace, the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire, the Ivorian Popular Movement of the Great West, the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire-African Democratic Party (PDCI-RDA), the Rally of the Republicans, the Democratic Union of Côte d’Ivoire (UDCI), and the Union for Democracy and Peace in Côte d’Ivoire. The round table resulted in the signing of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement (S/2003/99, annex I) on 23 January by all Ivorian political forces.
According to the report, the peace Agreement provided, among other things, for the establishment of a committee to follow up on the Agreement’s implementation, based in Abidjan and composed of representatives of the United Nations, the African Union, ECOWAS, the European Commission, the International Organization of la Francophonie, the Bretton Woods institutions, the Group of Eight countries, the European Union, a military representative of troop-contributing countries and France. Both the Agreement and the conclusions adopted by the heads of State of concerned African countries and France in Paris, 25 and 26 January (S/2003/99, annex II), envisaged a United Nations role in the implementation of the Agreement. The heads of State expressed the wish that the Council would endorse the peacekeeping operation launched by ECOWAS and France.
A multidisciplinary technical assessment mission, headed by the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hedi Annabi, visited the country from 24 February to 7 March to assess the situation on the ground, including the prospects for the successful implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement and the role the United Nations could play in supporting its implementation. In visits to the field and in discussions with the French and ECOWAS forces, the mission sought to conduct an assessment of their peacekeeping operations and the prevailing security conditions. According to the mission’s assessment, despite the continuing uncertainty regarding the prospects for the implementation of the Agreement, it is essential that prompt action be taken to give the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Côte d’Ivoire, Albert Tevoedjre, and the Follow-up Committee the means to actively promote and support the peace process.
Options considered by the assessment mission in the military sphere include: a) establishing a military advisory team in the Office of the Special Representative; b) deploying a military liaison group co-located with the field headquarters of the French and ECOWAS forces, as well as those of the government and rebel forces; c) deploying military observers throughout the country; and d) launching a full-fledged peacekeeping operation. Given the prevailing security conditions, it is recommended that, as an initial step, the Council consider approving option b). The liaison group will provide advice to the Special Representative on military matters and monitor the military situation, including the security of Liberian refugees.
Options c) and d) would be reviewed as the situation develops. Option c) would build upon the work of the liaison group and could be considered once there is substantive progress towards implementation of the Agreement. Option d) would be considered only in the event of a major change, either in the situation on the ground or in the commitment of the French or ECOWAS forces.
Regarding civilian activities, the report recommends, among other things, an electoral assessment mission for elections to be held in 2005, establishment of a human rights component, deployment of child protection advisers and a protection adviser with expertise on issues relating to internally displaced persons, as well as establishment of a communications and public information component to help identify trends towards xenophobia in the media, incitement to violence and other negative reporting. The role of the Bretton Woods institutions and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is also addressed in the report.
The Secretary-General observes that the Ivorian crisis underlined the urgent need for the international community to pay more attention to the interlinkages of the conflicts in the region. In particular, the interaction between the conflict in Liberia and developments in Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone demonstrate that urgent steps must be taken to resolve the Liberian conflict.
According to the Secretary-General, once fully established and functional, the Government of National Reconciliation must expeditiously define how it intends to implement the Marcoussis work programme and develop a timetable to that end. That would enable the United Nations and its international partners to determine the additional steps that might be needed to support the Government’s efforts in accomplishing the key tasks identified in the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, including the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of the armed groups, as well as the preparations for the national elections of 2005 and the reconstruction of the country.
In the meantime, the Secretary-General recommends that the Council approve the arrangements for United Nations support to the Ivorian peace process as proposed in the present report and that a United Nations mission in Côte d’Ivoire, to be called MINUCI (Mission des Nations Unies en Côte d’Ivoire) be established for that purpose. The Mission would be headed by his Special Representative, Albert Tevoedjre, who will have overall authority for the coordination of the activities of the United Nations system in Côte d’Ivoire.
The financial implications for establishment of MINUCI is projected at some $26 million for a 12-month period, providing for the deployment of 255 military and civilian personnel, including 76 military liaison officers, 85 international and 89 national staff, and five United Nations volunteers.
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