Post-conflict Ivory Coast remains on edge

July 19, 2013 at 11:01 AM

UNITED NATIONS, July 19 (UPI) -- Ivory Coast has made significant progress since teetering on the verge of civil war in 2010 but remains at risk of returning to violence, a U.N. envoy said.

Ivory Coast was pushed to the brink of civil war following disputed presidential elections. Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo faces trial at The Hague in the Netherlands for war crimes, though human rights groups suspect President Alassane Ouattara's supporters may have played a role in the violence.

Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeffrey DeLaurentis said the United States appreciated a decision by Ouattara to embrace economic reforms, but efforts to disarm elements within the country are failing.

DeLaurentis said national reconciliation was lagging when compared with other reform agendas. The government is therefore called on to "investigate the crimes committed by all sides in the post-electoral conflict, and to address the underlying causes of conflict."

At least one person was killed and three others were wounded when members of the U.N. peacekeeping force were attacked in early July by gunmen in the northwest of the country.

U.N. Undersecretary-General for peacebuilding Herve Ladsous told the Security Council the country is on the right track, though threats to its stability should not be underestimated.

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