Violence Halts Voter Registration in Cote d’Ivoire

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RAPAPORT… UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his concern today about recent violence in Côte d’Ivoire, where the government has suspended voter registration ahead of the March presidential election.

“The violence in [the town of] Vavoua and other locations in the country is a cause for serious concern,” said Martin Nesirky, the Secretary-General’s spokesperson.”The UN mission has called upon the population to remain calm as a solution to the problems encountered by the electoral process is being sought. The mission is also on alert and ready to assist the Ivorian authorities to contain violent incidents.”

The head of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), Choi Young-Jin, plans to meet with leaders of the major political parties this week to resume the political process.

Originally intended to be held in 2005, the presidential poll has been postponed each year. The election was most recently planned for November 2009, but is now slated for March. The election is seen as a crucial benchmark for the country, which is split into a rebel-held north and the government-controlled south. The Security Council ruled that it will only review the diamond sanctions currently in place against Côte d’Ivoire after a free and fair presidential election has been achieved.


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