Envoy: Ivory Coast situation 'complex'

July 19, 2012 at 12:04 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, July 19 (UPI) -- The United Nations needs to maintain an active role in Ivory Coast to promote security and reconciliation, the head of the peacekeeping mission said.

Bert Koenders, U.N. special representative to Ivory Coast, briefed members of the Security Council on developments in Ivory Coast.

December 2010 elections were meant to unite a country divided by civil war. Disputed claims of victory, however, pushed the country back to the brink of war.

The country had by-elections since the 2010 contest though mercenaries and political disputes have hindered major developments. A former defense minister from Ivory Coast in June, meanwhile, said he had information about a plot to overthrow the Ivorian government of Alassane Ouattara.

"In this complex phase, it is important that the United Nations continue to play its supportive role to assist the government's efforts to stabilize the security situation, protect civilians, restore state authority, promote reconciliation as well as undertake post-conflict development assistance," said Koenders.

The envoy noted that Ivory Coast was re-emerging as an active player in the regional community, however.

Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes committed during the post-election crisis.

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