Security Council "deeply concerned" about post-election violence in Cote d'Ivoire

09:19, December 17, 2010      

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The UN Security Council has condemned violence that broke out after contested run-off presidential elections in Cote d'Ivoire, U.S. UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who holds the rotating Council presidency for December, told reporters here Thursday.

"The members of the Security Council are deeply concerned about the violence in particular against civilians in Cote d'Ivoire including reports of gunfire in Abidjan near the Golf Hotel," Rice said. "The members of the Security Council condemn in the strongest terms acts of violence and are alarmed by reports of multiple civilian fatalities, many more wounded and even more being displaced across Cote d'Ivoire."

The Security Council had just been briefed by UN Under- Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy on the situation in Cote d'Ivoire, and carried out consultations on the matter. Violence erupted in the West African country after a Nov. 28 runoff presidential election resulted in both candidates declaring themselves to be victors.

Both incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo and his challenger, Alassane Ouattara, were sworn in as president by the Constitutional Council, and the Electoral Commission, respectively. Ouattara, who the UN endorsed as the true election winner, is currently staying at the Golf Hotel.

Rice said that Ivorian stakeholders must "exercise maximum restraint, remain calm, resist provocative actions, refrain from violence, and work together to restore sustainable peace."

Rice also reiterated the Council's support for the UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire (ONUCI), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and Ban's special representative for Cote d'Ivoire, Choi Youngjin in their efforts in the West African country.

She added that the Security Council members "welcome efforts by the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and countries in the region to assist in preserving peace and stability in Cote d'Ivoire."

Source: Xinhua
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