UNITED NATIONS The United Nations Security Council has urged Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara to form an all-inclusive, broad-based government now that he is assuming his responsibilities as head of State following the surrender of his predecessor, who had until this week refused to cede power after his defeat in last years presidential poll. The members of the Security Council urge all Ivorians to abstain from any reprisals, revenge or provocation, to exercise maximum restraint and to work together to promote national reconciliation and restore sustainable peace through dialogue and consultation, Ambassador Nstor Osorio of Colombia, which holds the Councils rotating monthly presidency, said in a statement read out to the press on Wednesday evening. The refusal by former president Laurent Gbagbo to stand down after he lost the United Nations-certified run-off poll in November plunged the West African country into four months of violence, with his troops pitted against forces loyal to Ouattara, the internationally recognized President. Gbagbo surrendered on Monday and was taken into custody. The Council welcomed Ouattaras commitment to investigate alleged human rights abuses and reaffirmed that those responsible for the violations must he held accountable for their crimes regardless of their political affiliation. It commended the Presidents call for justice and reconciliation, as well as his decision to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Committee. The 15-member body also encouraged the Government to cooperate closely with the Independent Commission of Inquiry set up by the UN Human Rights Council, and urged the authorities to ensure Gbagbos security and accord him and his entourage fair and just treatment. It voiced concern over reports of widespread violence and intimidation in the commercial capital, Abidjan, and urged all illegal armed combatants to lay down their arms immediately and hand them in to the relevant authorities. The Council further encouraged the UN peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast, which is known as UNOCI, to help the Government in the urgent task of disarmament, the establishment of security, public order and rule of law throughout the country and facilitate aid delivery, as well as continue to protect civilians. In their briefings to the Council, three senior UN officials said the situation in Cte dIvoire remains grave despite Gbagbos surrender and stressed the need to restore the rule of law, bring to justice those responsible for the gross human rights violations and respond to the dire humanitarian needs. Y. J. Choi, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Ivory Coast and head of UNOCI, told delegates that the missions immediate priority was to prevent a security vacuum, disarm surrendering soldiers and militiamen, secure vital installations, including air and sea ports, protect civilians, prevent reprisal attacks and gather evidence on human rights abuses. The Ivorian people organized one of the most impressive elections; they succeeded largely by themselves in resolving the post-election crisis which allowed for the will of the people to prevail, Choi said via video-link from Abidjan. Now they will march forward towards national reconciliation and reconstruction with the assistance of the international community. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for immediate and decisive action to address the humanitarian crisis in the West African country and to build public confidence in the rule of law to ensure justice. Reconciliation will not be accomplished without meaningful accountability, which has been lacking in Cte dIvoire over the past decade, she said in her briefing. To achieve peace and reconciliation, the cycle of impunity must be stopped, perpetrators must be brought to justice, and victims must be rehabilitated in their rights and dignity. Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, stressed the need to boost the delivery of food aid and to provide shelter and medical assistance to the sick and wounded, as well as to those who have been traumatised by the atrocities they have witnessed or endured. She said that an estimated $300 million is required to respond to the humanitarian crisis inside Cte dIvoire and in neighbouring countries where Ivorians have sought refuge. Some $57 million of the required funding has been received, she added. We must not let the people of Ivory Coast down, Ms. Amos, who is also UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said, calling on Member States to redouble their efforts and respond to needs in in that country and the region.