U.N. extends Ivorian arms embargo

April 26, 2013 at 11:49 AM

UNITED NATIONS, April 26 (UPI) -- Proliferation of weapons in Ivory Coast poses a significant threat to national stability and reconstruction, the U.N. Security Council said.

Ivory Coast is struggling to recover from conflict that followed disputed elections in 2010. Those elections were meant to unite a country divided by war, but instead led to violence that ended with former President Laurent Gbagbo facing trial at The Hague for war crimes.

The U.N. Security Council extended sanctions imposed first in 2004 that called for an arms embargo as well as financial and travel restrictions. Sanctions remain in place through April 2014 but exemptions are in place for military supplies for peacekeepers and supporting nations.

Ivorian Ambassador to the United Nations Youssoufou Bamba said the country has made significant progress since Gbabgo's arrest in 2011 but obvious challenges remain.

Human Rights Watch estimates that at least 3,000 people died in fighting from November 2010-May 2011. Amnesty International West African researcher Salvatore Sagues told the United Nations' humanitarian news agency IRIN that Ivory Coast is littered with weapons despite the arms embargo.

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