Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire: OCHA Weekly Update No. 9

Source
Posted
Originally published
26 June - 03 July 2005

I. Key political and security highlights

On Wednesday 29 June 2005, the main political fractions in Cote d'Ivoire agreed to kick-start a much-delayed process of disarmament and reaffirmed a commitment to hold presidential elections on 30 October 2005. The decisions were announced in a joint statement following two days talks in Pretoria chaired by the South African President Thabo Mbeki in his role as the African Union mediator in the three-year-old Ivorian conflict. According to the statement, signed by President Laurent Gbagbo, Guillaume Soro, the leader of the Forces Nouvelles and the leaders of the two main opposition parties, the disarmament of pro-Gbagbo militia forces in the government-controlled area would begin immediately and would be finalised by 20 August 2005. The statement said that government representatives and military chiefs would meet again on 7 July 2005 to finalise a timetable for disarming the Forces Nouvelles, who control the north of Cote d'Ivoire. They would start handing over weapons to UN peacekeepers by the end of July 2005. At the same time, Ministers of the Government of Reconciliation who have been appointed by the rebel group (Forces Nouvelles) would engage in participating fully in Cote d'Ivoire's broad-based government.

Since 27 June 2005, the FAFN (armed forces of the Forces Nouvelles) have reinforced security measures in the area of Bouaké setting up new checkpoints in town and undertaking regular searches. The impartial forces continue to patrol in the zone of confidence and no complaint was recorded during the week under review. In the western area, the security situation is still fragile. On Thursday 30 June, the armed forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN) showed on local television in Man, an allegedly pro-Gbagbo mercenary arrested in Danané. Meanwhile the French peacekeeping forces captured elements of FAFN with weapons in the zone of confidence in the area of Zouan Hounien. These weapons were handed over to UNOCI. On Thursday 30 June 2005, cases of physical assault and murders were reported in Kaade (Guiglo-Bloléquin axis) leaving one dead, one child missing and two wounded persons.

II. Humanitarian Situation

Humanitarian access

In the western region of Côte d'Ivoire, the humanitarian actors are facing increasing difficulties of movements of their vehicles and personnel, especially at the entry and the exit of Logoualé locality where identity and travel documents control are regularly carried out by elements of FAFN.

Movement of Internally displaced persons (IDPs)

From 28 to 30 June 2005, OCHA /Korhogo sub-office fielded a mission to Odienné (northeast town in Forces Nouvelles controlled area) to evaluate the humanitarian situation. Following the 1st June events of Duékoué, some people moved towards Odienné. There are 43 internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in 5 hosts families registered by the local committee of the victims of war in conjunction with Africare. A census has just started to determine the accurate number of IDPs in Odiénné. (A full report is available at the OCHA office). Meanwhile in Guiglo, only 17 internally displaced persons (IDPs) remain in the town hall site.

During a joint UNOCI, IAHCC (Inter-Agency Humanitarian Coordination Committee), DSS (Department of Safety and Security) and the Civil and military unit of UNOCI mission, an assessment of urgent needs was undertaken in Fengolo village, for a quick return of the internally displaced persons with a program of reconstruction and rehabilitation of houses. The first estimates are as follows: 560 destroyed homes including 300 badly damaged houses, two (2) schools to be cleaned up, four (4) wells to be drilled and two (2) pumps to be repaired. The United Nations plan to support the local community and the "Allogènes" communities who are determined to reconstruct this village for a reconciliation and peaceful cohabitation. The UNOCI Force Commander, will establish a permanent military presence in Fengolo to provide security of various communities.

Water and Sanitation

In Korhogo, water distribution is still underway thanks to the collaborative partnership between UNICEF, ICRC and local NGO ARK (Animation Rurale Korhogo). Bladders provided by UNICEF are filled up with water from the Mount Korhogo borehole. But the problem of water supply is not yet resolved, because rains are still not abundant for the dam to be operational.

From 26 to 29 June 2005, the NGO « Solidarités » conducted a mission to Odienné to determine the scope of the water problem. In Odienné, there is no lack of water, the problem is technical. One of the water pumps has broken down and was replaced by a smaller one with the assistance the Forces Nouvelles authorities. The flow of the pump is weak so it does not fill the water tank in a way to meet the needs of the population. As far as sanitation is concerned, the case of Odienné is rather alarming as gutters need to be cleared out while household garbage is not collected anymore exposing the population to preventable diseases.

According to the latest ICRC investigations, the quality of water in Bouaké and its surroundings has improved significantly. The two dams supplying the city produce a total of 25 million m3 of water, representing 50 litres of water per day per person. But the locality of Katiola (50 km north of Bouaké) faces some difficulties in water supply because the dam of Nicolo has dried up. ICRC provided SODECI (the private water company) before the rainy season, technical, financial and logistics support to repair an old water borehole and to sensitise the population for a better use of water.

On 01 July 2005, the western town of Man temporarily remained without water because of the maintenance needed of two generators provided by the civil and military unit of French peacekeeping forces. It is now urgent to quickly repair the pumps of SODECI water station and to re-establish the power line, which feeds the SODECI water station in Man. Meanwhile in Danané, SODECI took necessary action to restore the water supply. Electricity problems, at the origin of the frequent water cuts, are also being resolved according to the civil and military unit of the French peacekeeping forces.

The programme of rehabilitation of the village pumps and sanitation on the axis of Guiglo-Bloléquin and Guiglo-Taï, implemented by "Solidarités" (an NGO supported by UNHCR) is underway. In these villages, sanitation committees were set up and undertook sensitisation campaign on the use of the new infrastructures. This programme is also duplicated in the Liberian refugee camp of Nicla Peace Town.

Health, incl. Nutrition and HIV/AIDS

During the monitoring and evaluation mission from 28 to 30 June 2005 in Odiénné, OCHA /Korhogo sub-office, visited the Regional Hospital Center and reported that the only international actors operating in this northeastern town are Africare and UNDP. Despite the presence of the medical personnel supported by the Regional Council of Odiénné, the Regional Hospital Centre is in a poor state and medical equipment is in disrepair. Medical units - ophthalmology and paediatric - are not operational. Moreover malnutrition due to growing poverty and ignorance of mothers is becoming a matter of concern. The medical doctors in Odiénné said they are tired of assessment missions with little or no humanitarian assistance provided.

The mobile clinic programme of MSF-Belgium is still underway in Kouibly and Bangolo localities where free health care is provided to patients. A meeting between MSF-Belgium and UNICEF is planned to discuss the programme and zones of intervention to avoid duplication.

Protection

In Man, UNICEF opened on June 2005 a centre for demobilized child soldiers in collaboration with local ONG FEDIKF (Famille Education Développement Kha Fan Han). Fifty-five (55) demobilized child soldiers are provided with food assistance by WFP. Meanwhile UNICEF is discussing with MSF-Belgium the provision of their health care and ICRC is planning to deal with family tracking and reunification.

UNHCR, in collaboration with its partners SAARA, CARITAS and GTZ, facilitated the voluntary repatriation of 91 families of 190 Liberian refugees from Tabou, Bloléquin and Toulepleu. The same operation is also planned in Bin-Houyé, Zouan Hounien and Danané localities.

Education

Within the framework of the reopening of the University of Bouaké, a mission of the regional center of university works, led by the principal adviser to the Minister of Higher Education, took place on Wednesday 29 June 2005, to evaluate the state of the residence halls, the infirmary and the university canteens. It is planned to reopen the University of Bouaké. Some 610 students are already registered.

In the western region, the end of year exams of the primary schools took place in a secure and conducive environment. The Police provided security of all the examination centers, however approximately 200 children living in CIB areas and its surroundings (locality in the zone of confidence) did not sit for exams as school remain closed.

Food Security

In the northern region, farmers are facing difficulties for the lean season. Requests for food assistance and seeds are increasing. WFP/Korhogo and Africare/Odiénné are particularly in demand because of their support to the populations during the previous years. But this year, WFP/Korhogo has to provide assistance to a limited number of households because of the decrease of food stocks. Meanwhile in the centre region, the phase of identification of beneficiaries for "the lean season" programme is completed but this programme did not start yet because of a break in the pipeline. However, all beneficiaries as well as internally displaced persons (IDPs), of M'Bahiakro, Boli and Raviart are provided with food assistance for the period of June.

In Duékoué, WFP continues the identification of internally displaced persons in the districts of Guitrozon and Petit Duékoué for a general distribution of food (Ration for two months July and August). A programme to support market gardening will be also implemented by FAO in collaboration with WFP in these two districts. Guitrozon and Petit Duékoué are two districts of Duékoué where violent killings occurred recently on 1st June 2005.

III. Resources Mobilisation (As of 03 July 2005 according to FTS)

No new contributions reported by « Financial Tracking Service » (FTS)

IV. Upcoming Events

11 July: World Population Day at ENSEA (Ecole Nationale de Statistiques et d'Economie Appliquée)

12 to 13 July: Workshop on the CAP 2006 at Golf Hotel

19 to 20 July: Workshop on humanitarian principles

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.