The U.N. Security Council unanimously voted Thursday to remove 12-year-old arms embargo, travel and financial sanctions against Ivory Coast, welcoming the West African nation’s “remarkable progress towards lasting peace, stability and economic prosperity.”
In a second resolution, the Security Council also voted to draw down its peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast by June 30, 2017, according to a statement, ordering its 6,900 uniformed personnel to leave by April 30, 2017.
African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Council Smail Chergui has called on the international community to support strengthening the continent’s peace and security architecture.
Chergui’s remarks came at the opening in the Ethiopian capital on Thursday of a two-day security meeting convened for the first time in Africa by the Munich Security Conference, a 50-year-old major international think-tank.
Africa’s longest-serving leader, Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, extended his 36-year rule on Thursday after being re-elected with 93.7 percent of the vote, according to provisional results.
The results announced by the National Election Commission showed his two closest rivals, Bonaventura Monsuy Asumu and Avelino Mocache Mehengap, trailing far behind with 1.5 percent each in last Sunday’s vote.
Turnout in the oil-rich west African country was also 93.7 percent, according to the results which are subject to confirmation on May 2 by the constitutional court.