Minister Dlamini Zuma to attend International Working Group Meeting on Côte d'Ivoire

Pretoria - South African Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will attend the 9th session of the International Working Group Meeting (IWG) on Côte d'Ivoire in Abidjan on Thursday 20 July 2006.

Minister Dlamini Zuma's participation in the IWG comes within the context of South Africa's commitment to support the leadership and people of Côte d'Ivoire to find a political solution to their current challenges.

This session of the IWG also follows discussions between President Mbeki and the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan with the leadership of Côte d'Ivoire on Wednesday, 5 July 2006.

Issues on the agenda of the 9th IWG are expected to include the disarmament process and preparations for elections scheduled for October 2006.

At the 8th IWG meeting on 23 June 2006, concern was expressed at the delay in the commencement of the disarmament process. The Group also noted the limited time left for the implementation of the roadmap and urged all the roleplayers to accelerate the programme.

Military dialogue between the two Chiefs of Staff continues to focus on the reorganisation of the Ivorian army, the creation of an integrated military headquarters and the upgrading of its ranks.

Prime Minister Banny has also embarked on a sensitisation programme ahead of the national identification process while the budget for the election process has been approved. The Independent Electoral Commission has begun to make preparations for the implementation of programmes i.e. the launch of regional and local commissions.

Minister Dlamini Zuma is expected to return to South Africa on Sunday 23 July 2006.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

18 July 2006

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