Côte d'Ivoire

Daily Brief on Côte d'Ivoire for 19 Nov 2008

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Highlights

- Strikers close down identification centres in Abidjan

- 400 FAFN ex-combatants demobilized in Bouaké

Electoral process

Staff from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the National Institute of Statistics (NIS) and the National Office for Identification (NOI) working on the identification and voter registration operation in Abidjan, today started an indefinite strike over pay. The National Union of Identification Agents announced in a statement yesterday that they would not resume duty until all their demands were met. As a result of the strike it was reported that all identification centres in Abidjan were closed today. Meanwhile, there are reports that the identification and voter registration operation may end in Abidjan on 30 November 2008 because of a lack of response from the public.

DDR

Some 400 ex-combatants from the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN) are to be demobilised in Bouaké today. Representing Prime Minister Guillaume Soro at a ceremony during which the ex-combatants received their reintegration kits, the Minister of Integration, Amadou Koné, praised UNOCI's and the international community's contribution to the ongoing demobilization and reintegration process for FAFN soldiers.

Redeployment of the administration

The newly rehabilitated local government offices (prefecture) in Bouaké were officially inaugurated yesterday in a symbolic gesture considered another step in the redeployment of the administration in areas under Forces Nouvelles control.

Security

Villagers in Dahoua, 4 km from the western town of Duékoué yesterday set up roadblocks at the entrance to the village in protest at the refusal of taxis to decrease their fares in line with the price of petrol. The villagers claim that one taxi trip costs 450 FCFA instead of 250 FCFA.

Arms embargo

UNOCI peacekeepers yesterday successfully carried out arms embargo inspections at the FAFN's 82nd infantry battalion Madinani, near Odienné (north), at its headquarters in Bouaké, at its 11th battalion in Vonkoro, near Bouna (north-east) and at the Defence and Security Forces of Côte d'Ivoire's (FDSCI) gendarmerie brigade in Bongouanou, near Daoukro (east).

Humanitarian

The Sous-préfet of Guiglo today organised a meeting to discuss the issue of internally displaced persons who still remained in centre in Nicla, which was officially closed at the end of July 2008. The neighbourhood chief of Nicla agreed that the IDPs could stay at the centre on condition that they register and become involved in providing security for the village. Humanitarian agencies are trying to find a permanent solution to the problem of the remaining IDPs, who insist they want to be resettled in America.

Human Rights

The Human Rights Division on 18 November 2008 organised a workshop for a network of human rights journalists on the theme "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 60 years after : assessment and perspectives". Speaking at the opening ceremony, held at UNOCI headquarters in Abidjan, the deputy chief of the Human Rights Division, Guillaume Ngefa, recalled the important role journalists played in promoting human rights. At the end of the workshop, participants decided to put in place a plan of action dealing with the training of journalists on human rights issues and the popularization of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also decided to become focal points within their different media organisations to promote human rights.

On 14 November, the Regional Human Rights Office in Korhogo held a one-day human rights sensitization session in schools for 70 members of human rights clubs and representatives of the Direction Régionales de l'Education Nationales (DREN). The session was aimed at training participants on how to conduct human rights promotional activities within their respective schools.