Following is today's statement to the press on Côte d'Ivoire by Security Council President Mamady Traoré (Guinea):
Members of the Security Council heard a briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, Albert Tévoedjré, on the situation in Côte d'Ivoire and the activities of the committee tasked with monitoring the implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement. They expressed their full support for the Special Representative and the monitoring committee.
Council members welcomed the first meeting of the Government of National Reconciliation. They called upon all the parties to participate in subsequent meetings. They thanked the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which, under the chairmanship of Ghana, had played an important role in that regard. They called again on all parties to implement fully and without delay the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement. They called on the new Government to draw up a timetable for the implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement.
Members of the Council were informed by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hédi Annabi of the findings of the assessment mission he had conducted in Côte d'Ivoire from 24 February to 5 March. They looked forward to receiving the report the Secretary-General would submit on the basis of Mr. Annabi's conclusions as soon as possible.
Members of the Council were informed by France of the activities of its troops. They expressed their full support for the efforts of ECOWAS forces and French troops, as provided for by resolution 1464, with a view to finding a peaceful solution to the conflict. They called on member States to provide adequate financial and logistical support for the ECOWAS forces.
Council members noted with satisfaction the decision by ECOWAS to ensure the safety of all members of the Government of National Reconciliation and stressed the need urgently to take all necessary steps to that end.
Members of the Council condemned the renewal of fighting in the west of the country and the events that had transpired, in particular in Bangolo. They expressed concern at the fact that the fighting had essentially opposed Liberian combatants. They called on the parties to desist from the use of children in the conflict.
Members of the Council recalled the importance for the parties of respect for human rights and international humanitarian law in Côte d'Ivoire. They expressed deep concern at the deplorable humanitarian situation and called on all parties, in particular in the West, to allow relief agencies unimpeded access to civilian populations.