UN Security Council lifts all sanctions on Ivory Coast

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AA) – The United Nations Security Council has lifted all sanctions imposed on Ivory Coast since 2004, according to a statement posted on the UN website.

All UN sanctions on Ivory Coast, including arms embargo, will be removed, the statement released late Thursday said.

Targeted sanctions such as asset freezes and travel bans will also be affected by this decision, which concern a small number of people, including former President Laurent Gbagbo.

The resolution voted late Thursday also unanimously extended the mandate of the UN operation in the country, known as UNOCI, until June 30, 2017.

“The council also decided to extend until the same date the authorization given to French forces [present since 2002] to support the UNOCI,” the statement said.

Consisting of 4,000 men, the UNOCI was established following a resolution dated February 2004, shortly after the start of the 2002 civil war.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also welcomed the end of sanctions.

“It is the continued positive evolution of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire [French for Ivory Coast], including the successful conclusion of the presidential elections last year, which has enabled the United Nations to enter the final stage of peacekeeping in the country,” Ban said in a statement posted on the official website.

Ivorian Foreign Minister Albert Mabri Toikeuse also welcomed the decision, according to the country’s state television.