SA backs UNSC resolution on Cote d'Ivoire

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pretoria - South Africa has thrown its support behind the United National Security Council (UNSC) resolution on Cote d'Ivoire, and called for peaceful political solution to the crisis there.

"South Africa voted in favour of Resolution 1975 (2011) as the resolution is fully in line with the roadmap outlined by the African Union (AU), as it calls for an end to hostilities, the protection of civilians and for the parties to implement the political solution endorsed by the African Union," the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said.

The resolution also strengthens the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire by allowing it to protect civilians under the imminent threat of physical violence while impartially implementing its mandate.

The refusal of President Laurant Gbagbo to step down after Alassane Ouattara was pronounced as the winner of the country's November 2010 polls plunged Cote d'Ivoire into political crisis.

South Africa has expressed concerns over the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Côte d'Ivoire, adding that the indiscriminate violence and human suffering would have serious regional consequences.

"The continued senseless killing of civilians, threats and acts of intimidation as well as the rising numbers of refugees is a serious violation of human rights. We call on all parties to put an end to this and avoid further escalation of hostilities," DIRCO said.

South Africa called on The Economic Community of West African States, the AU and UN to persist in their efforts to find a peaceful political solution, warning Côte d'Ivoire was rapidly sliding back into a civil war.

A political solution, aimed at restoring national reconciliation and unity, democracy, good governance was the only sustainable approach to ensuring long term stability in Cote d'Ivoire, it added.

"In this regard, the African Union Peace and Security Council Summit during the recent meeting of 10 March endorsed the recommendations of its High Level Panel on the overall political solution to the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire. The AU reaffirmed its recognition of the election of Mr. Alassane Ouattara as the President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire," DIRCO said.