United Nations condemns violence in Ivory Coast

27th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

UNITED NATIONS, July 26, 2006 (AFP) - The UN Security Council condemned recent violence in Ivory Coast Wednesday and may impose sanctions on Ivorians threatening the divided country's upcoming elections, France's UN ambassador said.

UNITED NATIONS, July 26, 2006 (AFP) - The UN Security Council condemned recent violence in Ivory Coast Wednesday and may impose sanctions on Ivorians threatening the divided country's upcoming elections, France's UN ambassador said.

French Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sablière said the council had asked the sanctions committee to look into the violence between supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo and opposition militants that left at least three people dead and more than 40 injured over the past week.

On Tuesday in Abidjan, stones were thrown at the car of Gerard Stoudmann, the UN's special representative for the October elections.

"Members of the Council condemned firmly the obstacles put to the normal functioning of the mobile courts and the violence committed recently, including the attack against the special representative for the elections," de La Sablière said.

"We decided to seize the sanction committee," the French envoy, the council president for July, said in a statement.

"Those who do not want elections...are trying to put obstacles and the role of the Council is not only to condemn those who are putting obstacles but also to take action," he later told reporters.

"And this is why the sanctions committee will meet now and look at the situation," the ambassador said.

Three Ivorians, including the outspoken leader of the pro-Gbagbo Young Patriots, Charles Blé Goudé, are already under UN financial and travel sanctions.

Tensions flared a week ago with the start of a citizen identification exercise, vital for determining who has the right to vote in UN-backed elections that are seen as a key step in reuniting the divided west African country.

The pro-government and opposition militants agreed Wednesday to halt the violence.

The pro-Gbagbo camp is vehemently opposed to the identification process, saying the rebels who control the northern half of the country may try to claim Ivorian citizenship for millions of immigrants who could vote against Gbagbo in the presidential election.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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