FAFN arrest four suspects in connection with alleged murder of soldier;
UNOCI's o-i-c praises PAKBATT peacekeepers at medal parade;
Human Rights Chief meets Baoulé kings and ECOWAS citizens in Yamoussoukro
GHANBATT yesterday reported that four suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of an Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN) soldier at a checkpoint in Tehini, Bouna, on 8 May 2007.
Military Observers from Teamsite Daloa reported a robbery along the Daloa-Bonoufla Road yesterday, during which the driver of a truck was shot dead and his passengers robbed. Daloa police are investigating the crime. A UNPOL team was sent to the area to investigate: the security situation was calm and people were seen going about their normal activities.
BANBATT and LICORNE yesterday carried out a joint special patrol in Biankouma, Blapleu and Zeregouine to monitor the area.
Military observers from Ferkessedougou yesterday conducted an arms embargo inspection at Kafolon Bac.
A PAKBATT medal parade was held yesterday in the UN Compound in Duékoué. The ceremony was attended by UNOCI officer-in-charge (o-i-c), Mr. Abou Moussa, the Force Commander, General Fernand Amoussou, and Sector West Commander Brigadier-General Mainul Islam. Mr. Moussa commended the Pakistani peacekeepers for the hard work they do to bring peace and harmony to the sector.
On 17 May 2007, the Human Rights Division delegation led by its Chief, Simon Munzu, had separate meetings with the representatives of the ECOWAS (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria), Mauritanian and northern Ivorian (Dioula and Senoufo) communities based in the Yamoussoukro region and the kings of the Baoulé community. At the meeting with the ECOWAS and other communities, their leaders complained that they continued to be victims of racketeering, arbitrary arrests and detention, and humiliating identity checks at checkpoints. They also revealed that the neighborhoods in which they lived were often invaded at night by unidentified armed men wearing Ivorian army uniforms. The police, they complained, never respond when they call them for assistance in the face of such attacks. They called on the Chief of the Human Rights Division to pay particular attention to their vulnerable situation and to raise the issue with Ivorian authorities. Mr Munzu encouraged them to work together and live harmoniously with the Baoulé community.
At the meeting with the Baoulé kings, the Human Rights Chief stressed their role in promoting the respect of human rights and harmonious coexistence within their communities. Their spokesperson highlighted the prevailing human rights abuses which members of their communities faced, ranging from violation of the right to life and freedom of movement, racketeering, arbitrary arrests and detention to the expropriation of their land. Some kings provided testimony of exactions, killings and other atrocities committed by Forces Nouvelles elements against members of their community that had forced them to leave the region of Bouaké. They also expressed concern about the circulation of small arms that are used during communal clashes. Another concern was the expropriation of land in the Yamoussoukro region for the building of the new capital, which is affecting several farmers and villages. They urged Mr Munzu to bring their concerns regarding uncertainties in the peace process and elections to the attention of the head of UNOCI, adding that any failure of the Ouagadougou Agreement may lead to civil war.
On 15 May 2007, a special programme on trafficking and sexual exploitation was adopted by the Regional Human Rights Office in Abidjan, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Organisation Internationale de Protection Civile (OIPC), Interpol, Anti-Slavery International (ASI), Secours Assistance (ASA), Association des Femmes Juristes de Côte d'Ivoire, Judicial Police, and the Ministry of Family, Women and Social Affairs. The programme will provide legal and material assistance to victims as well as technical assistance to state institutions and experienced NGOs with a view to improving their capacities. It should be noted that in March 2007, the Human Rights Division, OIM and the American Embassy in Abidjan succeeded in repatriating to Manila four Filipino women, victims of human trafficking, and to secure the prosecution and conviction of the traffickers.
On 17 May 2007, the Duékoué Regional Human Rights Office organized human rights training for 25 Forces Nouvelles police auxiliaries posted in the region of Danané (155 km from Duékoué). The training focused on the mandate of UNOCI's Human Rights Division and on the role of the police in maintaining law and order. The FN Police Commissioner of Danané requested the Office to extend the training to other officials and military of the region.