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The Security Council voted unanimously, 15 to 0, on Monday night to impose an immediate arms embargo on Ivory Coast
The Security Council voted unanimously, 15 to 0, on Monday night to impose an immediate arms embargo on Ivory Coast and to extend sanctions to include forbidding travel and freezing assets of selected individuals in a month if a cease-fire agreement is not fully restored by then. The resolution, put forward by France and co-sponsored by six other nations, including the United States, had originally proposed starting the arms embargo on Dec. 10, but delegates at an emergency African Union meeting over the weekend in Nigeria asked the Council to make the weapons ban effective right away to try to calm tensions in the divided West African country. The arms embargo will remain in effect for 13 months, to run parallel with the extended sanctions, which go into effect Dec. 15. The 18-month cease-fire was dramatically broken on Nov. 6 when the government of President Laurent Gbagbo, resuming attacks on rebels in the northern half of the country, bombed a French military camp, killing nine soldiers and one American civilian. France retaliated the same day by destroying most of the small Ivoirian Air Force. The tough French response set off days of rioting in the city of Abidjan. The main targets of the attackers were citizens of France, the former colonial power, which has 5,200 troops in Ivory Coast, reports the NYTimes. Backers of Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo cried foul after the UN Security Council slapped an arms embargo on the divided west African state after 10 days of turmoil that sparked an exodus of foreigners and nationals. "I am disappointed by the abuse that Ivory Coast has suffered at the hands of the international community that manifests itself in this embargo," firebrand parliamentary speaker Mamadou Koulibaly told AFP. "It is clear that the moral compass within this international community favors those countries that are strong and rich." The 15-member council voted unanimously Monday in favor of a French resolution against its former star colony in west Africa, banning arms sales for 13 months in the wake of a government air strike on a French military base that left nine French troops and a US civilian dead. President Laurent Gbagbo has called the three days of strikes on positions in the rebel-held north part of an offensive to "liberate and reunify" the country, divided since a failed September 2002 coup sparked a civil war, publishes Anatolia. According to the Reuters, Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo pledged on Tuesday he would not hamper peace efforts in the West African country after the United Nations imposed an arms embargo and threatened more sanctions. "The president takes note of the U.N. decision and assures the United Nations, its member states and the friends of Ivory Coast, that he will do nothing to hinder the peace process," Gbagbo's spokesman Desire Tagro said in a statement read on state television
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