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UN: Ivory Coast Moving Toward Political Reconciliation, but Threats Remain

The United Nations is praising Ivory Coast for its ongoing recovery from a violent 2010 post-election crisis, and is crediting President Alassane Ouattara with taking "significant steps" to stabilize national security.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told the Security Council Thursday that President Ouattara has demonstrated "remarkable resolve" in tackling "the many challenges" the country still faces.

Ladsous singled out the president's ongoing push to demobilize and reintegrate about 65,000 fighters who took up arms after former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede defeat in the 2010 polls.

But the peacekeeper also warned that political divisions remain. He said the country will need the support of the broader international community to ensure that the reintegration of former combatants is successful.

Ladsous also voiced concern for the country's human rights situation, citing ongoing incidents of sexual and gender-based violence. He urged the government to expedite the arrests of those responsible, and said the arrests should be made regardless of the political affiliations of the suspects.

U.N. analysts estimate that more than 3,000 people died in the civil war that followed Gbagbo's refusal to step aside. Thousands of others were displaced, before Gbagbo was arrested in 2011 and transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

He remains in ICC custody while authorities decide whether to move forward with prosecution.

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