Côte d’Ivoire : Adoption of Resolutions on Sanctions and the UN Mission
Tomorrow morning (28 April), the Security Council is scheduled to adopt two resolutions on Côte d’Ivoire: one on the 1572 Sanctions Committee, and the other on the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). As a prelude to the adoptions, Council members were briefed on both UNOCI and sanctions on 12 April. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous presented the Council with the findings of the Secretary-General’s report on the strategic review and the future of UNOCI. The same day, Ambassador Elbio Rosselli of Uruguay, Chair of the sanctions committee, briefed the Council on the final report of the Group of Experts. (See the 12 April What’s in Blue story for more background on these briefings.)
France, the penholder on Côte d’Ivoire, circulated both drafts to Council members concurrently on 18 April. Consultations on the drafts were held on 19 and 21 April, and the final drafts were put in blue on 25 April. The Council has for some time been strongly supportive of the drawdown of UNOCI and termination of the sanctions regime. Therefore, the negotiations on both drafts went smoothly, with only minor amendments that had less to do with substance than form. The draft resolution on sanctions mandates immediate termination of sanctions measures (partial arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze) and dissolves the sanctions committee and its group of experts. It seems that only minor changes were suggested on the initial draft. One change was the removal of the reference to the terrorist attack in Grand Bassam and the need for regional cooperation in counter-terrorism efforts, following the suggestion by some members to keep this draft focused solely on sanctions and to place these references in the UNOCI draft instead.
The UNOCI draft resolution follows closely the recommendations coming out of the strategic review of UNOCI. The draft resolution renews UNOCI’s mandate until 30 June 2017. By the end of April, the mission will begin its liquidation phase, when it is supposed to cease its mandated tasks and fully complete the transfer of its responsibilities to the government and UN country team. These tasks include support for human rights, humanitarian assistance, protection of civilians and political support. Nonetheless, the draft notes that UNOCI could if required, play a political role during this two-month period. Initially, the draft mandated UNOCI to provide, if requested by the government, logistical support for the legislative elections in autumn 2016. This reference was later removed after Côte d’Ivoire indicated that it did not need such logistical support from the UN.