- Integrated Command Center established
- BANBAT-1 and Licorne conduct a joint exercise at Bonoufla
- FANCI soldiers prevent a smooth arms embargo inspection in Daloa
Integrated Command Center
The Integrated Command Centre (ICC) of the armed forces of Côte d'Ivoire today appointed its new chief and received its first Officers who will manage and run the Centre. The Centre was created in Yamoussoukro, the political capital of Côte d'Ivoire, using a military transit camp that had been renovated by UNOCI. The Minister of Defense Michel Amani N'Guessan read the oath of appointment for Colonel Nicolas Kouakou, a veteran soldier and gendarme, who will run the centre. The Chiefs of Staff of the two Ivorian armies, General Soumalia Bakayoko and General Philip Mangou, were present, as was the entire brass of the Impartial Forces, and the Chief of UNOCI Political Affairs.
In a brief, but powerful ceremony four companies of soldiers, two from FDS-CI contingents (one based in San Pedro and one in Daloa), and two from the FAFN forces based in Bouaké, stood at attention as the Generals, special guests and Minister of Defense took their places.
The Minister of Defense then appointed Colonel Kouakou, who took command of the 100 soldiers and lead them in a military parade. The soldiers were now under the command of the Chief of the Integrated Command Centre. One hundred men were now directed by the ICC.
At the end of the ceremony, the Minister of Defense made an impassioned plea to the Officers and soldiers who will be working at the ICC. "All of the people of Côte d'Ivoire count on your example of living together, working together, and carrying out your duties in fraternity to demonstrate that our country is reunified."
Colonel Kouakou stated that at the beginning the Centre would have one to two hundred men working and would eventually have as many as six hundred. Directly after the opening ceremony a working seminar on creating the first mixed brigades, with soldiers, gendarmes and police from the two opposing forces contributing personnel who are planned to begin patrolling the former Zone of Confidence in the West of the country on Monday 30 May.
Present at the Ceremony were the Commanding Officer of Licorne, the Deputy Force Commander of UNOCI, the Sector East Commander, the Chief of UNPOL, the Military Spokesman of UNOCI, officers from the FDS-CI and FAFN and journalists. UNOCI transported more than 100 people to the ceremony, including the two FAFN companies from Bouaké.
BANBAT-1 and Licorne carried out a joint exercise at Bonoufla. One company of Licorne Force along with four helicopters participated in the operation as Quick reaction force (QRF)
On 25 April, the Regional Human Rights Office in Duékoué organized together with the school education council, a sensitization campaign for selected student members of the human rights club of the "Lycée Moderne" of Duékoué. The session was attended by three hundred people among whom the students' parents and the educators. During the debate, the Office presented the mandate of the ONUCI Human Rights Division and made a presentation on the international as well as national human rights standards. The local authorities requested the Office to organize similar campaign in other cities of the region such as Guiglo, Man, Danané, Biankouma, Bloléquin and Toulepleu.
On 26 April, the Regional Human Rights Office in Abidjan organized a working session with the teachers' union the "Coordination Nationale des Enseignants et Chercheurs" (CNEC), and human rights NGOs, Ligue Internationale des Droits de l'Homme (LIDHO), Action pour la Protection des Droits de l'Homme (APDH) and Mouvement Ivoirien des Droits Humain (MIDH), to discuss on the situation in the Ivorian universities. The teachers have been on strike since 23 April to protest against violence and intimidation perpetrated by members of the student union the Fédération Estudiantine et Scolaire de Côte d'Ivoire (FESCI). It was agreed that the human rights NGOs together with the Abidjan Office will meet with officials from the Interior Minister and the three Presidents of Universities to raise the security problems faced by teachers and researchers.