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29.07.2004 General News

Make use of Accra Meeting - Busumuru Annan

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Accra, July 29, GNA - Busumuru Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, on Thursday urged all parties in the Ivorian conflict to make full use of the Accra Meeting to put the peace process back on track. He urged them to work together in a spirit of commitment and compromise since it was the only way "you can forge the political consensus needed to move forward on the implementation of the Linas-Marcousis Agreement", signed in 2003.

Busumuru Annan was speaking at the opening of what has been termed the "last chance" meeting on the Ivorian crisis, which has seen the New Forces factions being in control of half of the country. It is a follow-up to the Mini-Summit held in Addis Ababa on July 6 during the Third Session of the African Union.

Busumuru Annan maintained that the Agreement remained the roadmap for resolving the crisis and bringing an end to the long and deep suffering of the people of Cote d'Ivoire.

Cote d'Ivoire's crisis broke out on September 19, 2002 when soldiers mutinied and it turned into a coup attempt. He said the Accra Meeting must be able to reach consensus on the priority issues and for which a time-bound action plan was required for implementation.

The issues include reconstituting the Government of National Reconciliation, showing flexibility in achieving political compromise on Article 35 regarding the eligibility to contest presidential elections and adopting and implementing legislation under the Linas-Marcousis Agreement.

Others are the nationality code, composition of the Electoral Commission, land tenure system and the identification process. Busumuru Annan stressed that as agreed in Addis Ababa, an extraordinary session of the National Assembly should be convened in the coming days to adopt the legislative texts.

The UN Head urged the Ivorian parties to put an end to all human rights violations and to the climate of impunity prevailing in the country, saying he was concerned by recent reports of serious violations in Korogoh in Cote d'Ivoire as well as those that occurred in Abidjan on March 25 and 26, 2004.

"I hope that the Ivorian authorities will implement the recommendations of the Commission which investigated these events ... the National Human Rights Commission foreseen under the Linas-Marcousis Agreement, should also be established and commence work without further delay."

He asked the parties to work out a comprehensive timetable for implementing the programme of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.

"Implementing that programme does much to help reunify Cote d'Ivoire," he said. He added that a timetable would be needed for the restoration of the state administration and public services throughout the country.

He said the return to normalcy would set the stage for the holding of free and fair elections in October 2005.

Referring to the warring parties as, "friends" Busumuru Annan asked them to address the difficult issues before them and discuss them openly and frankly if they are to make real progress". 29 July 04

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