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30.07.2004 General News

Breakthrough achieved in Ivorian crisis

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Accra, July 30, GNA - Factions involved in the Ivorian crisis on Friday agreed to commence Disarmament, Demobilisation and Re-integration (DDR) by October 15 this year.

The process would be conducted on the basis of a specific timetable in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement and the decisions adopted on DDR in the Grand Bassam and Yamoussoukro.

The decision was made in an 18-point resolution, 'the Accra III Agreement on Cote d'Ivoire' adopted at the end of a two-day 'marathon' mini-summit on the Ivorian crisis held in Accra.

Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Executive Secretary of ECOWAS, read the communiqu=E9 at a press conference at the end of the summit on Friday. The mini-summit held under the auspices of the ECOWAS Chairman, President John Agyekum Kufuor and the UN Secretary General Busumuru Kofi Annan, was attended by 17 African Heads of State and Government and representatives of the political parties in Cote d'Ivoire. The political parties were FPI, MJP, MPCI, MPIGO, PDCI-RDA, PIT, MFA, RDR, UDCY and UPDCI.

The Summit dubbed ACCRA III was to encourage all the parties to the conflict to implement fully the Linas-Marcoussis and ACCRA II Accords to facilitate the conduct of free, fair, credible and transparent elections in Cote d'Ivoire in October 2005.

The resolution said the DDR process should include all paramilitary and militia groups and the restructuring of the defence and security forces to be undertaken in accordance with the road map delineated at Grand Bassam.

The factions also agreed to establish a timetable for the restoration of State administration and public services throughout the country. On the eligibility criteria for the Office of the President, the resolution said President Laurent Gbagbo was expected to use the powers conferred on him by the Constitution to implement by the end of September this year, the provisions of Section III in the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement.

It said the factions reiterated their commitment to ensuring the support of their respective members of the National Assembly for the adoption of all legislative texts by the end of August, this year. The legislative texts are all legal reforms envisaged under the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement including the nationality code, composition of the Independent Electoral Commission, the land tenure system and the law on identification.

The resolution said the factions agreed on the urgency of reconstituting the Government of National Reconciliation in order to enable it to play its role of restoring normalcy in the country. The factions also agreed that in order to ensure sustained implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, a meeting of the Council of Ministers should be convened within a week of the signing of the ACCRA III Agreement.

The resolution said a National Human Rights Commission under the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement should be established and commences its work without further delay.

To ensure the implementation of the resolution, the factions agreed to establish a tripartite monitoring mechanism to comprise representatives of the ECOWAS, African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) Mission in Cote d'Ivoire.

The resolution said the monitoring group should make reports fortnightly on the progress in the implementation of the ACCRA III Agreement.

The reports are to be submitted to the Chairman of ECOWAS, Chairperson of the AU and the UN Secretary General.

Termed the "last chance", the mini-summit was a follow-up to the Mini-Summit held in Addis Ababa on July 6, during the Third Session of the AU.

The Cote d'Ivoire crisis broke out on September 19, 2002, when soldiers mutinied and it turned into a coup attempt. 30 July 04

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