Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire: Committee on racial discrimination reviews country report

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ABIDJAN, 17 March (IRIN) - Cote d'Ivoire should seek advisory services and technical cooperation from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) to improve its performance in the protection and promotion of human rights, Mohamed Aly Thiam of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommended on Thursday.
Cote d'Ivoire, one of the 167 states party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, is obliged to submit periodic reports to the Committee on its national anti-discrimination efforts. Thiam is the Committee expert who served as country rapporteur for the reports of Cote d'Ivoire. His recommendation followed the consideration of the latest periodic report by Cote d'Ivoire to the Committee, whose conclusions are to be issued later this week.

An Ivorian delegation told the committee that, among other things, the current armed crisis in the country was a struggle for political power and not an ethnic conflict. The 15-member delegation said that with a high number of foreigners living in the country, Cote d'Ivoire could and did not show xenophobic attitudes. It added that the government had never expelled foreigners but instead offered them the rights enjoyed by nationals.

UNHCHR quoted the Ivorian government delegation as saying that despite its hospitality in hosting more than four million foreigners, Cote d'Ivoire had been accused of xenophobia and of excluding part of its population. The delegation said powerful international media had relayed the accusation, adding that only an estimated half a million people affected by the current crisis had left the country.

"Cote d'Ivoire nevertheless would remain a land of fraternity and a mosaic of tribes, religions and cultures harmoniously cohabiting," UNHCHR quoted the delegation as saying.

[Details of UNHCHR deliberations are available at: http://www.unhchr.ch/]

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