UNHCR Operation in Côte d’Ivoire - Fact Sheet (November 2012)

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 30 Nov 2012
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UNHCR operational highlights

• The planning for activities to be implemented in 2013 will aim for a smooth transition from the consolidation of peace to longer-term development, with the phase out of the Clusters. However, the Security Sector Reform (SSR) and Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) are at the initial phases, and the humanitarian space remains limited. At the same time, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission established in August 2011 is not yet fully operational in the field/rural areas.

• Recent reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as well as a declaration of the UN ASG for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic, who visited Côte d'Ivoire (27/11-02/12), highlighted concerns about cases of torture and arbitrary detentions occurring in the country. He also called for an independent investigation into incidents at Nahibly, where the last IDP site was brutally destroyed by fire in July 2012-eight people died and bodies in mass graves were subsequently discovered at the site.

• A new Government was formed on 22 November, made up of 29 ministers down from 36 in the previous cabinet, which was dissolved over a feud in the National Assembly between the President’s political party (RDR) and the allied PDCI over proposed amendments to the country's marriage/family law. However, the reconciliation process is still in jeopardy. The Government accused a network of supporters of former President Gbagbo of having perpetrated several armed attacks in the previous months to destabilize the country. The Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) rejected the allegations and it remains marginalized from the political process. At the same time, several political opposition leaders are still under arrest.

• Inter-community tensions remain a burning issue in addressing land rights, particularly in the west. The 1998 Land Law does not provide for adequate dispute resolution over land ownership; layers of secondary occupation of land, combined with the absence of land titles because of the connection between land tenure and the concept of “Ivoirité” demand wide scale reforms for the sake of peaceful co-existence and long lasting stability throughout the country.

• The operational developments during the reporting period include: the highest rate of return of Ivorian refugees since June; the continuous return of Liberian refugees; the Government’s heightened interest in working on preventing statelessness and the imperative to focus on integration to ensure the sustainability of returns.