I. Key political and security highlights
On Saturday 23 July 2005 at night, unidentified armed men attacked two police stations on the outskirts of Abidjan and went on to occupy the town of Agboville, 70 km to the north, the armed forces of Cote d'Ivoire said in a statement read on out on state television on Sunday 24 July. Five policemen were killed when the unidentified and heavily armed individuals attacked the base of the paramilitary gendarmerie and the nearby police station in Anyama, a northern suburb of Abidjan at around 10 pm (22:00 GMT) on Saturday night. The government rushed reinforcements to the area and four of the attackers were killed in the subsequent shoot-out. The attackers then withdrew to Agboville, where they attacked the gendarmerie and police posts and the local prison on Sunday morning in broad daylight, the statement said.
This week, in the western region of "Moyen Cavally", the OCHA/Guiglo sub-office reported two cases of murder. A member of the local community was killed on Friday 15 July 2005 in Zéo (north-east of Bangolo) and a member of the foreign community was also killed on 17 July 2005 in Fengolo. Both were shot down by unidentified armed persons within the zone of confidence. In this same region, new military authorities, the military Governor and new Prefects, were appointed. This action was decided by the Head of State in June 2005, after the killings in Guitrozon and Petit Duékoué.
On 21 July 2005, OCHA/Bouaké sub-office reported the presence in Bouaké of Soro Guillaume, the Secretary-general of Forces Nouvelles (FN), after a long period of absence from the country. Mr. Soro was welcomed in Bouaké after a short stop over in Korhogo.
II. Humanitarian Situation
A meeting was solicited by OCHA with representatives of the Forces Nouvelles (FN) in Man in order to advocate the right of humanitarian agencies to move and operate freely in FN controlled-regions. Since then, access by humanitarian organizations to various entry and exit main roads is reported to have become smoother. OCHA reminded FN authorities that Humanitarian International Law applies not only to UN agencies but also to humanitarian NGOs. FN solicited OCHA and the humanitarian community at large to report to FN any form of harassment (control of identity cards, inspection of vehicles, etc.) they might become victim of in any FN controlled-zone.
Movement of internally displaced persons (IDPs)
On Friday 15 July 2005, the murder of a member of the local community in Zéo (North-East of Bangolo) in the zone of confidence caused a new displacement of population towards Bangolo. Here the presence of approximately 200 to 400 new IDPs have been reported by ICRC and MSF/Belgium. OCHA will facilitate the fielding of a joint inter-agencies mission to Bangolo, Zéo and Kouibly, in early August 2005, in order to assess the emergency humanitarian needs caused by these new displacements and convene a common response strategy.
In the western town of Man (FN controlled-zone) the number of IDPs hosted at the "Palais de Justice" is uncertain (1.500 for the Forces Nouvelles, 1.300 for the humanitarian community). The return of IDPs to their home areas -- a process that seems to be starting in Duékoué - was slowed down by the murder of two (2) people (one a Malian tradesman and the other a Senegalese jeweller) in Duékoué. Four (4) families of the local community (Guéré) returned instead to Fengolo, thanks also to the work carried out in that area by the UN monitoring committee for peace and reconciliation.
Water and Sanitation
On 16 July 2005, at a public gathering, FN civil and military authorities urged Bouaké residents to start paying their water and electricity bills and highlighted the negative economic, environmental and hygienic consequences that are caused by the protraction of the present situation.
In Man, in order to overcome temporary water shortages, electricity is still being supplied by means of generators made available by the French peacekeeping forces. However, the Electricity Company (CIE) confirmed that electrical equipment items necessary for the repair of the damaged water pumps are available in Abidjan and will be shipped to Man in one-week time. Meanwhile, MSF/Belgium drilled a borehole to provide the Regional Hospital Center (CHR) of Man with a steady supply of drinking water.
IOM started to repair village pumps in Fengolo. The pump in the local Guéré community district was repaired this week and is already operational. Also IRC undertook activities aimed at repairing water pumps and training local Committees for the management and maintenance of village pumps in 12 villages of the western region of "18 Montagnes".
Health, incl. Nutrition and HIV/AIDS
On 15 July 2005, Save The Children-UK discontinued the services provided by its mobile clinic program in Duékoué. The local health center at the catholic mission will also be closed temporarily - from 22 July to 31 August 2005 - to allow its nuns to take annual leaves. IDPs and other vulnerable groups are facing difficulties to access affordable health care services in Duékoué because the Duékoué hospital has discontinued the provision of free-of-charge services.
In Man, MSF-Belgium is providing its support to the national program for tuberculosis at the Regional Hospital Centre (CHR) where 40 patients are currently being treated. The Regional Hospital has also started a program for the detection and treatment of HIV/AIDS servicing, at present, 15 patients under antiretroviral treatment (ARV).
According to ACF, in Man malnutrition is on the rise. Ten (10) new patients were admitted at three supplementary feeding centers (CNS) of the region. At present, a total of 305 cases have been reported at these centers. Also MSF/Belgium has expressed concern for the increasing number of malnutrition cases - 232 children, coming from the Bangolo area and from the northern part of Danané - currently hosted at the Therapeutic Feeding Center (CNT) in Man. MSF/Belgium recommended to organize a meeting of all humanitarian actors involved in food security and nutrition activities in the area, in order to convene a common strategy.
On 16 June 2005, at a local event organized in Tioro (Korhogo) by the local NGO ARK "Animation Rural de Korhogo" (ARK) in order to mark the African Child Day, a symbolic "register" was handed over to the local authorities that announced the setting up of local registers of births.
IRC has launched a Gender Based Violence project (GBV) in Man. Two social centers in Man and Danané will provide support to victims of rape and gender-related violence. This action will be extended also to the localities of Zouan-Hounien and Bin-Houyé.
Save The Children-UK has identified the parents of (4) children (two in Man and two in Yamoussoukro) and reunited them with their respective families. In Sangouiné, Yoleu and Danané Save The Children-UK is supporting 120 young and unmarred mothers - formerly associated with fighting military forces - through the implementation of income generation activities.
The Education Minister visited Bouaké from 19 to 24 July 2005 together with Regional Directors in order to assess the impact of the education crisis in the area and discuss scheduling of school examinations for the past two academic years (2003-2004 and 2004-2005) in the FN controlled-zones.
On 19 July 2005, Pierre Schori, Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) of the Nations Unions in Côte d'Ivoire, met with students who remained in Bouaké since the very beginning of the crisis. The SRSG provided financial support for the rehabilitation of the amphitheatre and the registration building of the University of Bouaké. The event reinvigorated the hope of a possible reopening of the University and the resumption of its courses in the near future; however this possibility is still rather uncertain.
In the course of a field mission carried out from 17 to 19 July 2005, Mr. Jean Pierre Gay, French Cooperation Officer at the French Embassy, visited the Gbon school centre in the district of "Petit Paris" in Korhogo. Here he took notice of a badly damaged roof of a school building that represents a serious safety concern for 219 pupils.
On 20 July 2005, the sectoral group on Education conducted an assessment mission in Bangolo, Duékoué, Guiglo, Bloléquin, Toulepleu, Bin-Houyé and Zouan-Hounien in the western region of the "Moyen Cavally". The mission met with teachers, school administration officials, pupils, local authorities and communities and plans to elaborate a strategy action proposal to deal with specific problems affecting the education system in these localities.
As a follow up to a previous FAO and WPF joint mission to Prikro and M' Bahiakro, FAO distributed last week corn seeds to IDPs in M'Bahiakro. IDPs in Prikro, who intend to undertake market gardening activities, will be supplied with seeds in early August 2005.
Since 18 July 2005, FAO started distributing corn seeds in and around Bloléquin (Chantier Colonel) and Duékoué. In the area of "Chantier Colonel", distribution is becoming more and more difficult because of heavy rains and bad conditions of tracks and bridges. In Man, FAO also distributed corn seeds and swamp rice in Sipilou, Danané, Logoualé and Semian. Meanwhile WFP continued its support to market gardening activities in Sipilou, Danané, Facobly, Zou, Zouan-Hounien and Bin-Houyé. A total of more than 5.000 people will benefit from this agricultural assistance programme.
III. Humanitarian Coordination
As a result of a working group session called upon by OCHA/Bouaké, humanitarian agencies planned to field a joint mission to Prikro and M'Bahiakro in order to assess ways to facilitate the return of IDPs to their home areas. The humanitarian agencies recommended OCHA to convene with UNOCI a security strategy aimed at supporting voluntary returns of IDPs.
IV. Resources mobilisation (as of 24 July 2005 according to FTS)
No new contributions reported on Financial Tracking Service (FTS)
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