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BAN REAFFIRMS UN'S UNWAVERING SUPPORT FOR POLL RESULT IN CÔTE D'IVOIRE

By UN
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2 January - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reaffirmed the United Nations' “principled and unwavering” stand that the outcome of the recent presidential election in Côte d'Ivoire reflected the will of the people and the result must therefore be upheld.

In a telephone conversation with president-elect Alassane Ouattara yesterday, Mr. Ban stressed that the international community remained committed to working together for a peaceful and durable end to the political stalemate in the West African country. He said he appreciated the restraint and patience even in the face of provocative actions.

Côte d'Ivoire plunged into a tense political crisis after the incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede electoral defeat to his challenger, Mr. Ouattara, following a presidential run-off poll held on 28 November. The international community has recognized Mr. Ouattara as the country's president-elect.

In their telephone conversation, the Secretary-General welcomed Mr. Ouattara's appreciation for the support and principled stance of the UN, notably Y. J. Choi, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the country, and General Abdul Hafiz, the commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Côte d'Ivoire, which is known as UNOCI.

“The Secretary-General told President Ouattara that he was alarmed by the reports of egregious human rights violations,” said a statement released by his the spokesperson.

“He said UNOCI had been instructed to do everything possible to gain access to the affected areas both for prevention and to investigate and record the violations so that those responsible will be held accountable.”

Mr. Ban took note of Mr. Ouattara's call during their conversation for an early International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation as a credible signal for accountability.