U.N. Resolution Urges Ivory Coast Arms Embargo

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A U.N. draft resolution circulated Monday calls for an arms embargo on Ivory Coast (search) and a travel ban and asset freeze against those blocking peace, violating human rights and preventing the disarmament of combatants after a year-old cease-fire to the nation's civil war disintegrated over the weekend.

The resolution, drafted by France, would create a Security Council committee to compile a list of people subject to sanctions and collect information, especially from Ivory Coast's neighbors, on codiscussed the draft.

At an emergency meeting Saturday, the Security Council demanded an immediate halt to all military action in Ivory Coast and confirmed that U.N. peacekeepers and French forces were authorized to use "all necessary means" to carry out their jobs.

The council agreed on the presidential statement after a closed-door briefing on Ivory Coast, including Saturday's attack by Ivory Coast warplanes on a French base that killed nine French troops and an American civilian, and wounded more than 20 French soldiers.

The draft resolution condemns the airstrikes by the Ivory Coast military as "flagrant violations" of the May 2003 cease-fire agreement that ended fighting from a nine-month civil war. It demanded that the government and rebels "fully comply with the cease-fire."

The French draft "emphasizes again that there can be no military solution to the crisis," and the cease-fire agreement "remains the only way to resolve the crisis."

Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, has been split into a rebel-held north and government-controlled south since a September 2002 coup attempt launched the country into civil war. The 2003 peace deal was forged under pressure from former colonial ruler France and others.