Côte d'Ivoire

Daily Brief on Côte d'Ivoire for 03 Nov 2008

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Highlights

- Investigation launched into fraud claims in identification operation

- Striking civil servants in Forces Nouvelles areas return to work

- UN opens joint office in Korhogo

Electoral process

UNOCI has received reports that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has discovered that identification and voter registration officials registered voters outside working hours at one of the identification/registration centres and has reported the matter to the police. The reports are being investigated. Meanwhile, peacekeepers monitoring the security situation around the centres reported that the operation continued without incident, but that security provisions need to be reinforced.

Security

Two masked individuals, armed with 12-calibre shotguns on 30 October 2008, robbed passengers travelling in a private vehicle along the Tabou-San Pedro road of more than 15 million FCFA. A SENBATT patrol was quickly dispatched to the scene of the robbery, but the perpetrators had already escaped. The victims were driven to gendarmerie brigade in Tabou to make statements. Patrols along the Tabou-San Pedro road have been intensified since the incident.

A cocoa producer was killed on 26 October 2008 during an attack by six masked individuals, armed with Kalashnikovs, against a public transport vehicle in Doumouyadougou, near Pinhou, 13 km south of Duékoué (west). Each passenger were systematically searched and their valuables taken. It is not clear why the man was killed but Duékoué gendarmerie has launched an investigation into the incident.

An Ivorian police officer has been arrested after a man was killed and another severely injured following a private dispute on the night of 23 to 24 October 2008, at a local restaurant in the Abidjan neighbourhood of Port Bouet. Investigations launched by the police are ongoing.

Redeployment of administration

Striking civil servants in Korhogo, Ferkéssedougou and Bouaké resumed work this morning after week-long demonstrations against the non payment of their redeployment allowances. They decided to go back to work following a meeting with representatives from the National Committee for the Redeployment of the Administration (CNPRA), who came from Abidjan to meet them.

Humanitarian

The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Côte d'Ivoire, Mr. Georg Charpentier, on 31 October 2008, officially opened the Joint Office of the United Nations in Korhogo (north), during a humanitarian mission to the Savanes region. The idea of a joint office is maximize the impact of the humanitarian activities in the area and to improve collaboration between the UN and local authorities. The Joint Office in Korhogo, which unites the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and UNOCI, is the second to be created. The first was in Guiglo in the Moyen Cavally region in western Cote d'Ivoire.

Human Rights

The Human Rights Regional Office in Abidjan, on 29 October 2008, met with a 15-year-old girl who has asked for UNOCI protection against a forced marriage. The girl said she had been brought from Odienné (north) to Abidjan on 23 October 2008 against her will to forcibly marry a 45-year-old man who is already a married father of four children. The Office found her accommodation in a women's shelter and is following up the case with both the husband and the girl's family to have the marriage nullified. This will enable the girl to resume her secondary school education in Odienné.

A 14-year-old boy, arrested and detained in Bouaké on 25 October 2008, for allegedly stealing a sheep belonging to two volunteers for the new reunified army, was released on 29 October 2008 following the intervention of the Regional Human Rights Office in the city. The boy had returned the sheep to its owners on the same day it was stolen.