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Key actors with a stake in the resolution of the crisis in Côte dIvoirethe Ivorian Government, the New Forces, the United Nations, and the African Unionmust develop a concrete strategy to combat the current crisis of impunity. The problem of impunity should be considered as pivotal to the peace process as disarmament, the issuing of identification cards to Ivorian nationals who do not possess them, and the registration of eligible voters.
Not adequately addressing ongoing violations by all sides and the impunity which they enjoy could undermine key civil and political rights in the run up to and holding of the elections planned for late 2006. Key international actors helping to mediate the crisis must recognize that deferring mechanisms of accountability and deterrence in the name of a fragile peace process will only serve to complicate that process and is not the best means of achieving a lasting peace, which is essential to the stability of the entire sub-region. These actors must take immediate and concrete steps to pursue accountability for past and ongoing violations; they must send a strong signal to perpetrators that the era of impunity in Côte dIvoire must come to an end, and that further abuses in the lead up to elections and beyond will not be tolerated.