A delegation from the United Nations Operation Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI), led by the Director of Public Information, Mrs Margherita Amodeo, participated in the commemoration of the first anniversary of the enthronement of the Canton Chief of Souin, celebrated under the theme of reconciliation in Man on Friday 11 May 2007.
Mrs Amodeo congratulated the Chief, Mr Kpan Raphael Tiémoko, whose area consists of districts in Man city, located in 570 km west of Abidjan, as well as 31 surrounding villages. She paid homage to the traditional leaders as « agents of traditions and customs », before asking them to be of worthy agents of peace. Recalling the important role of such leaders in the promotion of forgiveness, tolerance, reconciliation and harmony between the inhabitants of the region in particularly, and the country in general, Mrs Amodeo urged them to play their part in bringing lasting peace to Cote d'Ivoire.
She asked the traditional leaders for their assistance in supporting and respecting traditions and customs, as they are the essential landmarks and inevitable pillars in the prevention and resolution of conflicts. Addressing the Canton Chief, Mrs Amodeo urged him to use his role as a leader to take concrete actions in order to achieve an ideal of peace, justice and harmony between all his constituents.
The Chief of Public Information reassured her hosts that UNOCI, convinced of the important role of the traditional chiefs, will spare no effort to support them. She also invited the traditional leaders to a UNOCI forum which will be held in Bangolo on 29 May, 2007.
About fifty village chiefs and traditional leaders from the 18 Mountains region, administrative and military authorities of Man, representatives of civil society and UNOCI officials took part in the celebration, held in Voungoué, birthplace of the canton chief and located about a dozen kms from the Man town centre.