Côte d'Ivoire

Daily Brief on Côte d'Ivoire for 12 Nov 2008

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Highlights

- 15 hurt in students clashes in Daloa

- IDPs in Blolequin complain of lack of access to food and water

Security

A total of 15 people were injured, two of them seriously, when two groups of students, one of them comprising members of the students group, FESCI, armed with machetes and sticks, clashed violently near the offices of the Regional Directorate of Education (DREN) in Daloa on the night of 10 to 11 November 2008. Several reasons have been given for the clash, including the fact that the FESCI representative at Lycee Moderne 1 was notr carrying out instructions from the group's national headquarters. There were also claims that FESCI wanted to force pupils to buy badges and clothes from them, which they resisted. According to reports, it was during a meeting called by the regional education authorities to try to resolve the problems between the students that fighting broke out between them. The police were called and succeeded in getting the situation under control but the some of the students had already broken into the office of the regional director of education and destroyed furniture and equipment. A meeting, called by local authorities, is due to be held today to discuss what steps should be taken to avoid a similar occurrence in the future.

Four masked men armed with shotguns, in the early hours of this morning, attacked a public transport minibus near Guinglo, 2 km from Bangolo (west), along the Bangolo-Duekoué road. They stole an unknown amount of cash, mobile phones and other personal items from passengers before escaping. The Bangolo Mixed Brigade is investigating the incident.

Arms Embargo

UNOCI peacekeepers yesterday successfully carried out arms embargo inspections at the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles' (FAFN) 54th battalion in Dananon, near Seguela (centre west), at its 82nd battalion in Tieme, near Odienné (north) and at its Unit in Tienko (north).

Humanitarian

A group of internally displaced persons (IDPs), who this week gained access to their plantations in the Blolequin area, has told OCHA that they are having difficulties finding food, drinking water and a place to sleep, but that they had no security problems. It should be recalled that the IDPs were able to return with the help of the Prefet of Blolequin who insisted on it despite resistance from former militias who had occupied their plantations. However a few IDP families are still having problems with access to their plantations.

Bangladeshi peacekeepers in Zuenoula (centre west) yesterday provided transportation and security escort for vaccines and other materials to nearby Kazra and Paoufla for the Ivorian government's mass vaccination campaign against measles.

Human Rights

The Human Rights Division conducted workshops on human rights law and elections for 75 members of the Commission Electorale Indépendante and representatives of political parties in Bouaflé, (centre west) and Touba, (north west) from 7 to 8 November 2008. The role of women in elections and politics, as well as the prevention of violence during the electoral period were emphasised during workshops. In addition, on 10 November 2008, 30 women from a local NGO "Power" in Man (west) were sensitized on the right to physical integrity given the high rate of gender-based violence and female genital mutilation in the region.