Ban Says Peacekeepers Stay In I.Coast

19 Dec

UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Saturday rejected a demand by contested Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo for UN peacekeepers to leave the country and warned of “consequences” for attacks on the troops, his spokesman said.

The UN mission, UNOCI, “will fulfil its mandate and will continue to monitor and document any human rights violations, incitement to hatred and violence, or attacks on UN peacekeepers,” the spokesman said in a statement.

Gbagbo said earlier that UN troops and French forces in Ivory Coast should leave the country, accusing them of backing his rival Alassane Ouattara, who has been recognized by the UN and main international institutions as the rightful president.

Ban “is deeply concerned about the attacks on a UN patrol and sentries at UNOCI HQ perpetrated by elements of the Ivorian security forces apparently loyal to Mr. Gbagbo, and an attack on UN military observers by Young Patriots on Saturday, 18 December, which left two military observers wounded.”

The statement added: “There will be consequences for those who have perpetrated or orchestrated any such actions or do so in the future.”

-AFP/ac

Channel News Asia

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