UN to consider increasing strength of peacekeeping force in Cote d'Ivoire
The council heard a briefing by Nigerian Foreign Minister Oluyemi Adeniji, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special representative Pierre Schori during a closed meeting on Thursday.
In a statement adopted by the council Friday afternoon, the council expressed its intention to rapidly take the measures necessary to support the AU's call for free and fair elections in Cote d'Ivoire to take place no later that Oct. 30, 2006.
The statement, read out by Ioan Motoc, the council president for October, said the council is intended to consider whether to provide additional resources to the UN peacekeeping mission, based on careful study of the conditions in Cote d'Ivoire and of meaningful progress towards implementation of long-standing commitments.
The council also re-affirmed its support for the Linas- Marcoussis peace agreement and welcomed the forthcoming visit of a high-level delegation led by President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa to Cote d'Ivoire.
Cote d'Ivoire, the world's leading cocoa producer, has been split between the North, held by the rebel New Forces, and the South, under the control of the government, since a coup attempt against President Laurent Gbagbo failed in 2002.
A buffer zone between them is held by peacekeepers of the UN Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) and UN-authorized French peacekeeping force.