Press Releases

    SG/SM/9745
    AFR/1118
    3 March 2005

    Secretary-General Calls for Reining in of Militias in Côte d’Ivoire

    NEW YORK, 2 March (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General is very concerned at the recent escalation of serious incidents in and around the Zone of Confidence in Côte d’Ivoire, culminating in the attack by some 100 armed “youth” against Forces Nouvelles positions across the Zone on 28 February 2005. The United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) troops promptly deployed to the area and regained control of the town. During the intervention, a Bangladeshi peacekeeper was seriously injured and some 70 armed youth were captured and disarmed by UNOCI. The Secretary-General reminds the parties that everything has to be done to cooperate in earnest with the African Union mediation led by President Mbeki of South Africa, which is fully supported by the United Nations, and to avoid any steps which could contribute to the deterioration of the situation on the ground.

    In this regard, the Secretary-General calls on the parties to rein in all militias and reminds their leaders, as well as those behind them, that they will be held accountable for premeditated attacks, including through the measures envisaged in Security Council resolution 1572 (2004).

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