- United Nations Security Council has extended arms and diamonds ban including targeted sanctions restricting travel of individuals on Cote d'Ivoire for an additional year.
The 15-member council unanimously approved a resolution drafted by France that extends ban on selling arms to Cote d'Ivoire and against buying rough diamonds until 31 October 2009.
Council said it would review measures next October to determine whether progress has been made in putting key aspects of peace process into place and positive steps made in long-delayed elections.
Cote d'Ivoire, a leading cocoa and diamond exporter in western Africa, was split in two after a botched coup attempt by New Forces (FN) rebels in 2002, with north under FN control.
In the latest resolution, which was drafted by France, UN Security Council also decided to extend mandate of the Group of Experts on Cote d'Ivoire until 31 October next year.
Council said any threat to electoral process in Côte d'Ivoire, in particular any attack or obstruction of Independent Electoral Commission in charge of November elections, constitutes a threat to peace and country's national reconciliation process.
Independent Electoral Commission officials said election, which was delayed for several times and now scheduled for 30 November this year, looks likely to be put off further due to delays in voter registration.
The Council requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and French government provide immediate reports should any "serious obstacle" impede freedom of movement of UN peacekeeping operation in Cote d'Ivoire and French forces which support it.
On Monday, the body heard from top UN envoy to Côte d'Ivoire, who warned that increasing delays in the dual identification and electoral processes are imperiling hard-won peace in nation, which is rebuilding after a brutal 14-year civil war.
Council ordered a midterm review by April 2009, and requested that the Kimberley Process (KP) communicate as appropriate to Security Council, through committee, information which, where possible, has been reviewed by the group of experts, concerning production and illicit export of diamonds.
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