1. In its presidential statement (S/PRST/2007/8), issued on 28 March 2007, the Security Council welcomed the agreement signed by President Laurent Gbagbo and Mr. Guillaume Soro in Ouagadougou on 4 March 2007 (S/2007/144), under the facilitation of the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso. The Council also expressed its readiness to take further steps to help the parties in implementing the agreement and requested me to submit, by 15 May 2007, recommendations on the role that the United Nations should play in that regard. The present report, which is based on the findings of a multidisciplinary technical assessment mission that visited Côte d'Ivoire from 10 to 22 April 2007, provides the requested recommendations.
II. The Ouagadougou agreement
2. The Ouagadougou agreement seeks to resolve the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire by merging the Forces nouvelles and the national defence and security forces through the establishment of an integrated command centre; replacing the zone of confidence with a green line marked by UNOCI observation points that would be dismantled gradually; deploying mixed Forces nouvelles and national police units to maintain law and order in the area formerly covered by the zone of confidence; re-establishing State administration throughout the country; dismantling the militias; disarming combatants and enrolling them in a civic service programme; granting amnesty for all crimes relating to national security committed between September 2000 and the date of signing of the agreement; simplifying and accelerating the identification of the population and the registration of voters; and organizing a free, fair, open and transparent presidential election, in accordance with the Linas-Marcoussis and Pretoria agreements. The agreement also provides for the creation of new institutional arrangements to implement these tasks, including a new transitional Government.
3. In order to facilitate monitoring of the peace process, the agreement created two new follow-up mechanisms. The first is a standing consultative mechanism comprising President Gbagbo, Prime Minister Soro, former President Henri Konan Bedié, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara and the facilitator, President Compaoré. This mechanism will address all arising issues pertaining to theagreement. The second mechanism is an evaluation and monitoring committee, to be chaired by a representative of the facilitator, which will comprise three representatives each from the two signatory parties. The two parties may decide to include other Ivorian parties in the committee, while the facilitator may also call upon any member of the international community to participate in the committee, ashe deems appropriate. The monitoring and evaluation committee's role is to assess the implementation of the agreement and offer recommendations on measures to facilitate the peace process. Any disagreements relating to the interpretation or implementation of the agreement will be settled through arbitration by the facilitator.
4. The schedule of implementation of the Ouagadougou agreement sets out the following key timelines: setting up of the integrated command centre beginning on 18 March 2007 (two weeks after the signing of the agreement); establishment of the institutional framework for implementing the agreement starting on 1 April (four weeks after the signing of the agreement); formation of the new interim government by 8 April (five weeks after the signing of the agreement); removal of the zone of confidence and creation of the mixed police and military units beginning on 15 April (one week after the formation of the new government); dismantling and disarmament of the militias starting on 23 April (two weeks after the formation of the new government), to be completed within two weeks (by 7 May); cantonment of the former fighting forces, storage of their weapons under the supervision of the impartial forces (United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) and the Licorne troops) and the re-establishment of State administration throughout the country and the launching of mobile court hearings, all starting by 23 April (seven weeks after the signing of the agreement); voter registration and identification beginning on 21 May (one month after the beginning of the mobile courts hearings); unification of the two forces and enrolment of ex-combatants into the civic service programme starting on 5 June (15 days after the beginning of the voter registration process); and preparation and issuance of identity cards and voters' cards beginning once the voters register is officially adopted. The schedule envisages completion of all these tasks within a period of 10 months, that is by 4 January 2008, followed by the organization of a presidential election. The agreement does not, however, set the date for the elections.
5. On 26 March 2007, President Gbagbo and Guillaume Soro signed a supplementary agreement designating Mr. Soro as the new Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire. The supplementary agreement stipulated that Mr. Soro will remain in office until the holding of the presidential election. It also barred him from standing as a candidate for that election. The agreement further stated that the new PrimeMinister would be accorded specific powers for the purpose of implementing the Ouagadougou agreement. Both the Ouagadougou agreement and the supplementary agreement were endorsed by ECOWAS in its communiqués of 16 and 28 March, and by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union in its communiqués of 19 and 29 March. The African Union transmitted the agreements to the Security Council, with a recommendation to endorse them and to consider a gradual drawdown of the impartial forces.