U.N. lets Ivory Coast arm itself

April 27, 2012 at 10:07 AM

UNITED NATIONS, April 27 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council agreed to modify sanctions against Ivory Coast to enable the country to keep its armed forces reasonably armed.

The Security Council adopted a resolution that modifies the arms embargo placed on Ivory Coast. Exemptions were put in place so weapons and related equipment could be supplied or sold to Ivorian forces to ensure national security and public order.

Sanctions set to expire next month banned the direct or indirect transfer of weapons to Ivory Coast. The country was pushed to the brink of civil war following disputed presidential elections in 2010. Thousands of people were killed and countless more were displaced following the election.

Human Rights Watch said nearly two dozen people have been killed in Bouake, the country's second largest city, since legislative assembly elections in December.

Ivorian Ambassador to the United Nations Youssoufou Bamba said national security was vulnerable to terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking.

"The United Nations and the international community should continue to provide assistance to countries to help them fight those scourges," he said in a statement to the Security Council.

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