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14.11.2004 General News

AU pledges support for proposed arms embargo on Cote d'Ivoire

By Patrick A. Firempong, GNA Special Correspondent, Abuja.
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Abuja, Nov.14, GNA- The African Union (AU) on Sunday pledged its support for the proposed resolution of the United Nations Security Council to impose an arms embargo on all parties in the Cote d'Ivoire crisis with immediate effect. It said once the resolution was adopted all members of the international community should strictly comply with the resolution. The Council is expected to meet on Monday November 15 to impose the embargo. The AU made the pledge in a six-point communiqu=E9 issued at the end of a one-day Summit of some African Heads of State and Governments held in Abuja, Nigeria to discuss the current deteriorating situation in Cote d'Ivoire.
President John Agyekum Kufuor who is also the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was among the leaders.
The rest were President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Chairman of the AU, who convened the Summit, President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, President Omar Bongo of Gabon, President Aboulaye Wade of Senegal and President Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo.
The Summit was also attended by Mr Alpha Oumar Konare, Chairman of the AU Commission, Mr Mamadou Coulibaly, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Cote d'Ivoire who represented President Laurent Gbagbo, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Executive Secretary of the ECOWAS and Mr Ali Treki, Special envoy of the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
The Summit affirmed the AU support to the peacekeeping force in Cote d'Ivoire in its efforts to discharge its mandate and called for a meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council to be convened within three weeks.
It charged the AU Chairman to undertake the necessary demarche to some non-African Heads of State and Government considered to be in a position to influence the situation in Cote d'Ivoire to accelerate the return to peace and normalcy in that country.
The AU reaffirmed its total rejection and condemnation of all recourse to military operations and called on all the parties to cease all hostilities, respect the confidence zone and desist from all military acts as well as taking the initiative in launching fresh attacks.
It expressed its disappointment and great concern at the deterioration of the situation in Cote d'Ivoire following the Accra Three Agreement and the consequent recent outbreak of hostilities in the country and deplored the major setback to the peace process in Cote d'Ivoire.
The AU reaffirmed that the framework in the Linas-Marcussis Agreement and the Accra Three Agreement remained the only credible options for a durable settlement of the crisis and return to lasting peace and national reconciliation in Cote d'Ivoire.
The Summit called on President Gbagbo to ascertain immediately the veracity of the report on alleged cut in electricity and water in the northern parts of the country as a prelude to another imminent attack on other parts of the country.
"If it is true then the order to cut electricity and water to the northern parts of the country should be reversed immediately", it added. President Obasanjo in an answer to a question by Journalists said, "If the Accra Three Agreement had been scrupulously implemented, what is happening would not have happened."

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