Côte dIvoire Annan hails plans for first Government meeting since March

“This is a Government that has not functioned since March. They are now going to come together and have their first Cabinet meeting, hopefully Monday next week,” he told journalists after briefing the Security Council on the two-day summit last week in Accra, Ghana, at which the deal was struck.”They have also agreed on the delegation of authority from the Prime Minister to the President, to allow him to implement the Linas-Marcoussis agreement,” he explained.The January 2003 Linas-Marcoussis Agreement which ended bitter fighting between factions in the north and the south calls for President Laurent Gbagbo and Prime Minister Seydou Diarra to re-distribute powers and for a new nationality code that would expand the field of political candidates.The Security Council authorized a committee to investigate the human rights violations that have dogged the West African country’s political life since a coup attempt failed in September 2002.In Accra, “they agreed to work actively with the UN team on the ground on human rights and cooperate in the investigation,” Mr. Annan said.They also agreed that all the laws required by Linas-Marcoussis should be passed at an extraordinary session of Parliament in August to allow the peace process to move forward, he said.”This is an opportunity for the Ivorian leaders to come together and work for the sake of their nation and their people,” Mr. Annan said. “If they really go home and implement what they agreed to in Accra they have a chance of breaking the impasse, not just for a brief period, but really move on in a sustained manner to implement the agreement.” read more