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UN Security Council Backs Deployment of Peacekeepers in Ivory Coast - 2003-02-05

The 15-member U.N. Security Council Tuesday has endorsed the deployment of peacekeepers in the war torn Ivory Coast and backed the peace accord.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan attended the vote, the first since Germany took over the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month.

The measure not only supports the deployment of French and Western African peace keepers in the West African country, but also expresses its full support for the efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECWAS) to promote peace and end the conflict.

"The result of the voting is as follows: The draft resolution received 15 votes in favor. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 1464 from 2003," announced Gunter Plueger, Germany's ambassador to the United Nations.

France and ECWAS have also reiterated their call on the Ivory Coast government and rebels to implement the agreement as a first step to ending the conflict.

The resolution was approved on the same day that rebels in Ivory Coast said they would not renegotiate a French-brokered peace deal that was agreed to outside Paris in January.

For days, many Ivorians have taken to the streets in sometimes violent demonstrations in opposition to the peace deal. Protesters say Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo gave too many concessions to the rebels in the Paris accord. The rebels were promised several high level government positions, including the defense ministry, and approval of the appointment of a prime minister.

The fighting broke out late last year when rebels took control of the north and west of Ivory Coast. Hundreds of people were killed by both sides of the conflict.