Côte d'Ivoire

Daily Brief on Côte d'Ivoire for 06 Nov 2008

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Highlights

- SRSG meets with PDCI president, Henri Konan Bedié

- Cote d'Ivoire deploys special forces along border with Liberia amid rumours of attack

Political

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Cote d'Ivoire, Y.J. Choi today met with the president of the Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire (PDCI), Henri Konan Bedié, as part of his periodical encounters with the main political actors in the peace process. At the end of the meeting, Mr. Choi said that he and Mr. Bedié had discussed the advances made and the challenges which remain in the end-of-crisis process, in preparation for the forthcoming meeting of the Permanent Consultative Framework which monitors the implementation of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement. The two leaders placed particular emphasis on what needs to be done to accelerate the identification and voter registration operation. Mr. Choi was also expected to meet wit Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo this afternoon.

Security

Persistent rumours of an attack in Toulepleu (west) by Liberian mercenaries have led Ivorian authorities to deploy dozens of Special Forces in the border town. UNOCI is closely monitoring the situation.

Regarding increased criminality in Boundiali, Korhogo and Ferkessedougou in the Savanes region in northern Cote d'Ivoire, UNOCI organized a meeting with local law enforcement bodies in the region to try to find a solution to the problem. The commander of Korhogo gendarmerie said that the insecurity was likely to continue for the foreseeable future with the approach of Christmas and Eid-ul-Adha (Tabaski).

Redeployment of administration: The chairman of the committee in charge of redeployment of judicial administration has been visiting the 18 Mountains region this week to evaluate whether the necessary facilities are in place to redeploy members of the judiciary and their administrative staff. The delegation met with the Prefect of the region, representatives of the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN), the Prefect of police and the manager of Man prison, before inspecting the office of the judiciary, which has been rehabilitated by the European Union. The prison is still being rehabilitated. Earlier this week, the Prefect of Danane told UNOCI that the redeployment of the judiciary was the most important action expected by the local population.

Arms Embargo

UNOCI peacekeepers yesterday carried out arms embargo inspections at the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles' (FAFN) 82nd Infantry battalion in Tiefinzo, near Odienné (north), at the 4th Company of its 65th battalion in Glan Houye, near Danané (west), at its armory unit in Korhogo (north), at its unit based in Tidianvogo, near Ferkéssedougou (north) at the National Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire gendarmerie brigades in Issia and Guiberoua (centre west) as well as its camp in Bondoukou (east).

Human Rights

The Regional Human Rights Office in Abidjan is following up on reports of inter-community clashes between the Dida and Togolese communities on 31 October 2008 in Yocoboué, eight km from the coastal town of Grand-Lahou, which resulted in the death of a 25-year-old Togolese and severe injuries to three others. The clashes allegedly erupted when members of the Dida community accused a Togolese of killing a young Dida by witchcraft a few weeks earlier. In retaliation, the Dida youth sprayed a Togolese with acid and physically assaulted two others before undressing them, spraying them with acid and forcing them to stand in the sun for a few hours. Fearing for their safety, most of the Togolese have left the village.

The Regional Human Rights Office in Duékoué yesterday discussed the prevailing insecurity in the west with Guiglo police (west) to find out what measures are being taken to improve the situation. The Office was told that on 3 November 2008, three unidentified individuals, armed with the AK 47 rifles attacked a public transport vehicle on the Guiglo-Tai road at Srébohibly, 42 km from Duekoué (west). They fired shots, forcing the vehicle to stop before searching the 22 passengers for cash and valuables. The Office was told that there were ongoing discussions between law enforcement and local authorities to try to find a way of improving the situation.