The United Nations is sending a veteran Portuguese diplomat to war-torn Ivory Coast to help organize presidential elections in October.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan Friday chose Antonio Monteiro for the job, a former Portuguese foreign minister and U.N. ambassador.  He is tasked with ensuring the elections are open, free and fair.

Last month, Ivory Coast's warring parties renewed pledges to abide by an April peace deal brokered by South Africa, which includes holding elections on October 30.

Several previous deals failed to take hold because of political disagreements and delays by both the government and rebels to disarm.

Ivory Coast has been split in two, with rebels in the north and the government in control of the south, since a failed coup attempt in 2002.

Some information for this story provided by AFP and Reuters.