- Cote d'Ivoire has postponed much awaited presidential elections scheduled for 30 November, local media has reported.
President Laurent Gbagbo, former rebel leader Guillaume Soro and other political leaders announced after a meeting in Burkina Faso that it was not possible to arrange for 30 November elections.
Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore met in Ouagadougou with members of a consultation committee (CPC) overseeing a March 2007 peace deal he mediated.
The committee has asked the country's electoral commission to set a timetable for voter identification and registration and announce it before 31 December.
Former president Henri Konan Bedie said the country should make sure that identification process and registration is working before elections date could be set.
United Nations Security Council expressed grave concerns last Saturday over another election delay in Cote d'Ivoire, saying current voter identification and registration process was too slow.
Late last month, Security Council decided to extend arms and diamonds embargo on Cote d'Ivoire for an additional year until 31 October 2009 after it unanimously adopted Resolution 1842. The 15-member council called for a review of sanctions before deciding whether to extend measures before next October.
The statement, issued by United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire , appealed to all parties concerned to take immediate, necessary and concrete measures to ensure that operations of voter identification and registration are accomplished by end of January 2009, and a credible and transparent election can be held by the end of spring.
The presidential election was originally meant to happen in October 2005, but could not because the country remained split into a rebel north and government-controlled south, separated by a buffer zone patrolled by UN and French peacekeepers.
On March 4, 2007, president Gbagbo and rebel New Forces leader Soro concluded a peace deal in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, under which both sides committed themselves to disarming combatants, redeploying regional administrators and organising 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 the north under FN control.
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