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UN arms embargo on Cote d'Ivoire

UN arms embargo on Cote d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire was under a partial UN arms embargo between 2004 and 2016, which allowed the supply of arms and related materiel to the Ivorian security forces, intended solely for support or use in the Ivorian process of Security Sector Reform, as approved in advance by the relevant UN Sanctions Committee.

In November 2004 Security Council resolution 1572, adopted unanimously, decided that "all States shall, for a period of thirteen months from the date of adoption of this resolution, take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Côte d'Ivoire, from their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms or any related materiel, in particular military aircraft and equipment, whether or not originating in their territories, as well as the provision of any assistance, advice or training related to military activities." The resolution was in reaction to frequent breaches of a ceasefire agreement and a deteriorating humanitarian situation. The resolution allowed supplies of arms and related material and technical training and assistance intended solely for the support of or use in the process of restructuring defence and security forces of the Ivorian Government of National Reconciliation. Such supplies had to be approved in advance by the relevant Sanctions Committee. The embargo was part of a wider package of sanctions.

In the years 2005-2009 the sanctions were extended annually with one-year periods.

In October 2010 Security Council resolution 1946 extended the embargo until 30 April 2011. It did not change the scope of the embargo but it explicitly mentioned that the embargo also allowed supplies of non-lethal equipment intended solely to enable the Ivorian security forces to use only appropriate and proportionate force while maintaining public order, as approved in advance by the Sanctions Committee. This text was added in response to a recommendation by the UN Operation in Cote d'Ivoire to allow the supply of anti-riot materials 'since the lack of these materials leads the law enforcement forces to resort to firearms'.

In April 2011 Security Council Resolution 1980 extended the embargo for one year. It did not change the scope of the embargo but it explicitly mentioned that the embargo also banned the supply of vehicles to the Ivorian security forces without approval from the Sanctions Committee.

In April 2012 Security Council Resolution 2045 extended the embargo for one year and lifted all restrictions on the provision of training, advice and expertise related to security and military activities and on supplies of civilian vehicles to the Ivorian security forces.

In April 2013 Security Council Resolution 2101 extended the embargo for one year.

In April 2014 Security Council Resolution 2153 extended the embargo for one year. It lifted the requirement to notify the sanction committee in advance about the supply of non-lethal equipment to the Ivorian security forces. It retained the required advance approval by the sanction committee for the supply of most types of weapons as clarified in a new list annexed to the resolution. 

In April 2016 the arms embargo was lifted in resolution 2283 in which the UNSC noted the progress achieved in the stabilization of Côte d’Ivoire, including in relation to disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR), national reconciliation, and progress on the management of arms.

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Embargo type: Mandatory UN embargoes
Entry into force:
Lifted: 28 April 2016
Establishing document: UNSCR 1572