2 February 2006

Secretary-General Says Attacks Targeting UN in Côte d'Ivoire Will Not Be Tolerated, Reminds Top Officials of Personal Responsibility to Prevent Violence

NEW YORK, 1 February (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about reported threats against the United Nations personnel in Côte d'Ivoire, and the possibility of major violence being unleashed in Abidjan and other areas of Côte d'Ivoire.  The United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), supported by Licorne as needed, will take all necessary measures to protect United Nations personnel and property, as well as populations under imminent threats in its areas of deployment.

The Secretary-General wishes to remind, in the strongest possible terms, the highest civilian and military authorities of Côte d'Ivoire, including President Gbagbo and Chief of Staff General Mangou, of their personal responsibility for preventing violence, including attacks targeted against United Nations personnel and installations throughout the country, as well as ethnically motivated violence.  Such acts will not be tolerated by the international community.

The Secretary-General calls once more on all Ivorian parties to work with their international partners to seek a peaceful solution to the Ivorian crisis.

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