Sanctions remain for Ivory Coast

April 19, 2012 at 10:23 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, April 19 (UPI) -- Sanctions against Ivory Coast play an important role in post-conflict recovery in the West African nation, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said.

Ivory Coast 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.

Former President Laurent Gbagbo is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court for his role in the post-election violence. Human rights groups maintain both sides likely committed atrocities during the crisis.

Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said members of the U.N. Security Council were supportive of progress made since 2010. The country has embarked on a disarmament campaign and had successful by-elections.

"The members of the council also noted, however, that challenges remain, including violations of the arms embargo and diamond smuggling," she said during a briefing. "Council members agreed that sanctions can continue to play a role in supporting Ivory Coast's post-conflict recovery."

Rice said there was a desire to ease sanctions, however, as the situation in Ivory Coast improves.

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