Ban calls for UN meeting on Ivory Coast

Illegal arms from Belarus are reportedly being delivered to Gbago-led forces.

Updated: Feb 28, 2011, 14:28 PM IST

New York: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Monday for an urgent Security Council meeting on Ivory Coast following reports of illegal arms deliveries to one of the warring factions there.

"The secretary-general hopes that the Security Council will consider convening urgently a meeting to discuss this issue," a spokesman for Ban said.

The appeal follows reports that three attack helicopters and related materiel from Belarus were being delivered to Yamoussoukro to forces led by outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo.

The first delivery arrived reportedly on a flight which landed late Sunday, and additional flights are scheduled for Monday, the spokesman said.

"This is a serious violation of the embargo against Côte d`Ivoire (Ivory Coast) which has been in place since 2004," the spokesman said.

"The secretary-general demands full compliance with the arms embargo and warns both the supplier of this military equipment and Mr Gbagbo that appropriate action will be taken in response to the violation."

Ivory Coast has been gripped by increasing unrest since a presidential poll on November 28, which much of the international community acknowledges was won by opposition leader Alassane Ouattara.

Bureau Report