Côte d'Ivoire

Daily Brief on Côte d'Ivoire for 22 Oct 2008

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Highlights

- SRSG discusses electoral process with Ivorian Prime Minister

- Identification process due to start in the Bouaké area next week

- Tension remains high in Beoué as IDPs return

Political

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, Y.J. Choi, today met with Ivorian Prime Minister, Guillaume Soro to discuss the progress in and challenges confronting the electoral process. The meeting was part the Special Representative's regular consultations with Ivorian political leaders with a view to expediting the peace process.

Electoral process

With regard to the transportation of staff and equipment for the identification process in the Vallee de Bandama region in central Côte d'Ivoire, the United Nations Development Programme, which is in charge of logistics, is putting together a plan called "Operation Taxi". The idea is that taxis would be hired to transport staff and equipment to the various centres in the region. UNOCI will also provide some transportation. In Bouaké, the identification process is scheduled to be launched on 27 October 2008. Staff from the National Institute of Statistics (INS), Sagem, the technical operator for identification, and the National Identification Office (ONI), have arrived in the region and are waiting to be assigned.

Redeployment of the administration

The civil servants in Ferkessédougou (north) yesterday started a 96-hours strike in protest against the non-payment of their allowances. Hospitals, schools and public services have been affected by the strike.

Security

Tension remains high in Beoué village in the Bloléquin area (west) as young people continued to resist handing over plantations they had taken over to their rightful owners who recently returned to the area. Yesterday, despite violent protests by the youths who also set up barricades, the Prefet of Bloléquin succeeded in accompanying the internally displaced persons to their plantations.

A suspect, who was one of three armed bandits arrested yesterday on suspicion of carrying out a series of robberies in the Bangolo area, has died while in the custody of the Bangolo Mixed Brigade. An investigation has been launched into his death.

Arms Embargo

UNOCI peacekeepers yesterday successfully conducted arms embargo inspections at the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN) units in Kounahiri (Séguéla, centre-west) and Goulia (Odienné, north-west), at the National Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire (FANCI) artillery unit in Guiglo (west) and at its battalion in Daoukro (east).

Humanitarian

Medical staff from PAKBATT yesterday provided 500 free medical consultations and distributed food items to 200 children in Messoukro village, 70 km north-east of Bouaké, while PAKENGINEERING cleared and prepared a piece of land for construction of a school, medical centre and maternity hospital. BANBATT also treated 352 local people yesterday at its weekly medical camp in Yamoussoukro (centre).

Human Rights

The Regional Human Rights Office in Duékoué is following up on the case of a 16-year-old Guinean girl, was raped by a group of four young men aged between 15 and 20 in Man on 14 October 2008. She was working as a housemaid at the home of a Forces Nouvelles corporal when the attack happened. The Gendarmerie has launched an investigation into the case.

The Regional Human Rights Office in Bouaké has raised the case of a man, who was allegedly physically assaulted by two soldiers from Compagnie Guépard in the Trainou neighborhood on 20 October 2008, with the FAFN authorities in the city. The victim said that he was attacked for no apparent reason while buying a refill card for his mobile phone, adding that the soldiers hit him on the chest and grabbed by the neck before stealing 150,000 FCFA (around $302) from him. The FAFN authorities have promised to investigate the incident.