UN resolution to back Ivorian PM

A UN draft resolution has proposed giving the prime minister of the Ivory Coast full military and civilian authority to run the country for another year pending new elections.

    Banny is considered to be a nonpartisan leader

    The UN Security Council document, drawn up by France and circulated on Monday, says that Charles Konan Banny, the prime minister, would be empowered to "take all necessary decisions" in the government by "ordinances or decree" and appoint both civilian and military officials.
       
    Elections, delayed from a year ago, are due by October 31 but have been postponed by feuding between rival factions in the once prosperous West African nation, split since a 2002-2003 civil war into a rebel-held north and government-held south.
       
    Similar recommendations have been made by West African countries, African-led foreign mediators, the African Union and Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general.

    The aim is to enable Banny, a former banker selected by the mediators as a nonpartisan leader, to legislate independently of President Laurent Gbagbo, considered defiant of peace plans.

    But Gbagbo would remain in office, a situation that could lead to more grief in the once prosperous cocoa-growing nation.

    Disarmament
       
    In addition to the election, the five-page measures say Banny would supervise disarmament and "the identification of population and registration of voters in order to compile credible electoral rolls".

    Rebels say Muslims in the north are treated as foreigners in their own country, and that thousands have had their identity papers torn up by authorities from the more Christian or animist south. That has complicated the process of registering people to vote.
       
    About 7,000 UN peacekeepers and 4,000 French troops are in Ivory Coast patrolling a shaky cease-fire line between rebel and government zones.
      
    The draft resolution "demands the immediate resumption of the programme for the disarmament and dismantling of militias throughout the national territory and underlines the individual responsibility of the leaders of the militias in the full implementation of this process".


    SOURCE: Reuters


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