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Transition In Ivory Coast

United Nations Security Council resolution seventeen-twenty-one endorses an African Union decision to continue the mandate of prime minister Charles Konan Banny and president Laurent Gbagbo in Ivory Coast.

The resolution calls for "a new and final transition period not exceeding twelve months" that will lead to the end of the U-N peacekeeping mission there and the election of a new government. The resolution encourages Mr. Banny to take measures to prepare elections by October 31st, 2007, disarm militias, and restructure of the armed forces. It also "demands that all Ivorian parties refrain from any use of force and violence."

Some nine-thousand U-N peacekeepers are in Ivory Coast to monitor a ceasefire between the government and rebel forces. Ivory Coast has been divided since 2002, when a soldiers' rebellion led to an attempted coup. The coup failed but the rebels took control of the northern part of the country.

A series of largely unimplemented peace agreements followed, along with a U-N-mandated arms embargo. In April 2005, South African president Thabo Mbeki invited the factions in Ivory Coast to accept an African Union-sponsored mediation effort. The Pretoria Agreement addressed such issues as disarmament and demobilization of the rebels and the establishment of an independent electoral commission.

John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the U-N, says, "We need to get the Ivorian parties to the point where they reach sufficient agreement [so] we can proceed with the election. It's part of our feeling," he says, "that peacekeeping operations should come to a conclusion. And that's why we're hopeful that this time we actually will have an election."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.