U.N. Extends Mandate For Ivory Coast

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UNITED NATIONS, July 27 (UPI) — A political crisis in Ivory Coast took a massive toll on the country, the U.N. secretary-general said after the Security Council extended the country’s mandate.

The U.N. Security Council, in a unanimous vote, extended the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast for another year at its current strength of around 9,800 troops.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his latest report on Ivory Coast noted the country isn’t expected to recover quickly from a political stalemate that cost thousands of lives.

“The country will need our help at this critical time to enable it to get back on its feet,” he said.

Ban met with Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara at U.N. headquarters. The international community recognized Ouattara as the winner of a November election though incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refused to stand down.

Both sides were accused of committing atrocities during the five-month conflict though Ouattara has asked the International Criminal Court to conduct an investigation into the violence.

The U.N. peacekeeping mission for Ivory Coast was set up in 2004 to mediate a peace process following civil war in 2002. The election last year was meant as sign the country had recovered from a war that divided the West African nation.

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