Côte dIvoire Annan urges parties to cooperate as peace process moves forward

The Security Council has endorsed an African Union (AU) proposal for the appointment of a powerful new prime minister in Côte d’Ivoire, which has been divided since rebel forces seized the northern part of the country in 2002.Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, in a meeting last week with the senior UN envoy to the country, said he accepted that arrangement.In a statement today, the Secretary-General said this provides a “clear framework for the governance arrangements and for moving the peace process in Côte d’Ivoire after 30 October.” President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, who had planned to travel to Côte d’Ivoire to consult with the parties on the appointment of a new Prime Minister, just tragically lost his wife and has not been ale to go, Mr. Annan noted. “I am, however, in close contact with the President and will extend all the necessary support to him on these consultations,” the Secretary-General added.In the meantime, he called on all the Ivorian parties and their followers “to refrain from any actions that might create tensions and to remain committed to the ongoing process aimed at restoring lasting peace and stability to their country.”Mr. Annan also urged them to continue cooperating with their international partners under the current political arrangements, pending the upcoming mission by President Obasanjo to Côte d’Ivoire. read more