The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously to maintain sanctions on Ivory Coast for another year, including an arms embargo and a ban on the import of rough diamonds from the West African nation.
A resolution adopted by the council on Thursday also renews financial sanctions and travel bans on political figures for violating human rights and blocking peace, including former President Laurent Gbagbo, who has been charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
The council welcomed “the steady progress and achievements” the country has made since last year's political crisis and authorised several exceptions to the arms embargo. But it said the situation in the country “continues to pose a threat to international peace and security in the region.”
The resolution adopted on Thursday extends sanctions until April 30, 2013. Last week, the Security Council examined a report from a panel of experts monitoring implementation of sanctions which reported violations of the arms embargo and diamond smuggling.
It reported gun-running into Ivory Coast from Ghana, Guinea, Mali and Senegal from munitions companies and suppliers in countries as far-flung as France, Belarus and Romania up until former leader Gbagbo's ouster last year. — AP