France calls for arms embargo against Ivory Coast

8th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 7 (AFP) - France circulated Sunday a UN draft resolution calling for an arms embargo against Ivory Coast, as well as financial sanctions and a travel ban against individuals accused of threatening the peace process in the conflict-wracked west African nation.

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 7 (AFP) - France circulated Sunday a UN draft resolution calling for an arms embargo against Ivory Coast, as well as financial sanctions and a travel ban against individuals accused of threatening the peace process in the conflict-wracked west African nation.

France introduced the measure after nine French soldiers were killed when two Ivorian warplanes raided a French encampment in the rebel-held town of Bouake, prompting Paris to order the destruction of the warplanes and three attack helicopter, effectively destroying Ivory Coast's small air force.

France's retaliation led to anti-French violence in the main city Abidjan.

The proposed UN resolution states that the situation in Ivory Coast "continues to pose a threat to international peace and security in the region."

The draft resolution calls for nations to freeze the assets and bar entry "of all such individuals ... who constitute a threat to the peace and national reconciliation process in Cote d'Ivoire," referring to the west African nation by its French name.

It would also impose travel and financial sanctions on those accused of violating human rights based on information provided by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

A 15-member Security Council committee would create and update the list of individuals facing the sanctions, which would last one year.

The council would decide whether to prolong the sanctions, depending whether a peace deal holds between the government and rebels.

The proposed resolution also calls for nations to "take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Cote d'Ivoire ... of arms or any related materiel, in particular military aircraft."

Nations, in particular African countries, would have to report to the council within 60 days to present the actions they have taken to implement the sanctions.

Annan would have to report to the council on the situation on March 15.

UN experts reviewed the French proposal Sunday, a diplomatic source said. The experts were to meet again Monday.

The former French colony has been in crisis since September 2002, when armed rebels based in the north of the country moved against the government, accusing it of disenfranchising residents of the Muslim-dominated north.

A peace deal was signed in Marcoussis, France in January 2003 to bring the rebel leaders into a unity government, and a ceasefire was reached in May 2003. Another agreement was signed in Accra in July of this year.

French soldiers and UN peacekeepers have been monitoring the ceasefire.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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