Côte d'Ivoire

Daily brief on Côte d'Ivoire for Friday, 22 Jun 2007

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Highlights

- UNPOL launch investigation into attempted robbery on the Odienné-Gbeya road

- UNOCI peacekeepers carry out arms embargo inspections in Bouaké, Beoumi, Touba and Séguela

- UNOCI Medical Unit provides treatment for rape victim

Security

About four armed roadside bandits yesterday attempted to rob a minibus with passengers travelling along the Odienné-Gbeya road near Manado village. The robbers ordered the driver to stop, but he drove away. In response the bandits shot several bullets at the minibus but nobody was reported injured. UNPOL is investigating the case.

An Abidjan Reserve patrol sent yesterday to Marcory, an area hosting UNOCI log base, following disturbances there on 20th June 2007, reported that approximately 40 cars were damaged and five shops looted during the attack by an angry mob. The disturbances were trigerred by mistreatments by a Lebanese businessman of his maid who lost here two-month pregnancy as a result of the beating. The security situation is currently calm but unpredictable in the area.

Mixed Brigade

According to UNPOL Yamoussoukro the Integrated Command Center plans to change the location of the Mixed Brigade due to be deployed to Konandikro because there are problems with shortwave radio reception in the area. The Brigade would instead be based in Famienkro.

Arms embargo

Military Observers (Milobs), UNPOL and Licorne from Bouaké yesterday conducted an arms embargo inspection at the Sector Beoumi Unit of the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN).

On the same day, Milobs from Seguela carried out a similar inspection at the FAFN Genie Unit in the town while those in Man, accompanied by UNPOL did the same as the Ivorian Defence and Security Forces Unit in Touba.

Electoral

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) organised from 11-21 June trainings sessions for ten Regional Electoral Commissions in Sector West. These workshops held in Odienné, Séguéla, Touba, Man, Guiglo, Daloa, Bouaflé, Gagnoa, Divo and San Pedro, were aimed at providing Commissioners with tools in election management. UNOCI's Electoral Assistance regional took part in the different trainings sessions, and used the opportunity to explain the Mission's role in supporting the electoral process.

CIMCOORD

UNOCI's Civilian-Military Coordination (CIMCOORD) Chief, Colonel Bennet Gborglah, has organized an eight-day tour of the North and Northeast of Côte d'Ivoire following a request from the FAFN. The mission, which will begin on Monday 25 June 2007, will do a reconnaissance on the condition of the roads from Bouna to Ferkessedougou, from Boundiali to Tengrela and from Tiebissou to Sakassou. This initial reconnaissance is to identify the parts of the road works that are in the worst condition and to create a plan to grade or resurface or both these areas. Once the worst sections of roads are identified a more detailed study will be done in order to create a timeline and budget for the work. UNOCI Forces from Bouaké, Korhogo, Ferkessedougou and Bouna will assist the mission, while experts from the Ivorian Government will provide technical and financial analysis. A similar reconnaissance mission is planned in the Northwest on the road between Man and Seguela in the coming weeks.

Exams

The Regional Director of Education in Odienné has requested security and logistics support during exams in July and August 2007. He made the request at meeting held in the city yesterday which was attended by UNPOL, BANBATT and representatives from UN agencies and international and national NGOs.

Human Rights

The right to health and the general situation in Bouaké Hospital were discussed at a joint meeting of UNOCI and UN agencies held in Bouaké on 21 June 2007. While the representative of WHO reported that medical care was provided for free in this hospital, the Human Rights Office in Bouaké presented cases of individuals who died because their families could not afford to pay the charges that were demanded for surgical operations.

At the request of the Human Rights Office in Abidjan UNOCI medical unit provided assistance to a young girl aged 16 who was raped by four men in the Vridi district of Abidjan. The case was referred to two local NGOs, MIDH (Mouvement Ivoirien des Droits de l'Homme) and AFJ-CI (Association des Femmes Juristes) with a view to providing legal assistance to the victims. [Comment: Due to the repeated cases of rape in this area, the Abidjan Human Rights Office in collaboration with other UN agencies and municipal authorities have been engaged in a sensitization campaign aimed at putting an end to this phenomenon].