Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire: Special Representative Choi visits Moyen Cavally region

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Abidjan, 13 October 2008 - The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, Y.J. Choi, on Sunday visited the localities of Duékoué and Lokosso in Moyen Cavally region to take a look at progress made thus far in implementing projects financed by the mission for the benefit of the population.

In Lokosso, which is 15 km from Duekoué, M. Choi went to a primary school where the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire, through its Moroccan batallion stationed in the zone, is rehabilitating three classrooms at a cost of over eight million CFA francs.

"I am proud of the work that is being accomplished by the Moroccan Military Engineering Unit which, through this work, marks a visible presence of the UN in Côte d'Ivoire," the Special Representative stated. He welcomed the willingness, spirit of initiative and solidarity of the Moroccan battalion towards the population, and encouraged it to continue supporting the Ivoirian people, weakened by six years of crisis, so as to help it to emerge with dignity from this situation.

A joyful crowd, comprising mostly students, notables, men and women from this locality of more than 1,000 inhabitants, reserved a warm welcome for the UNOCI delegation and requested its support for the supply of electricity, road repairs, and the rehabilitation of water pumps.

Seven out of 12 quick impact projects piloted by UNOCI's Civil Affairs Office in the Moyen Cavally are already completed or in progress.

Earlier, Mr Choi met a group of 15 former militia members, including six women, from the Association for Development and Renaissance (ARD) who are scheduled to benefit from UNOCI micro-projects in less than three months. Thanks to the construction of a storage depot that will hold a rice-shelling machine and a mill, these youths will be helped to reintegrate their society through income-generating activities that will enable them to take care of themselves through other means than weapons.

Stating that he was happy at their initiative and that he wished other young people would follow suit, Mr Choi assured them of UNOCI's continued support for the financing of identified projects.

The head of UNOCI also visited the Moroccan batallion's camp in Duékoué for a first-hand look at their living and working conditions in the field. He was welcomed there by the contingent's commander, Colonel Abdeslam Laaraifi.